Crawling back to you | 500 Words on Grace

by You Have My Word

I don’t deserve this… Who would possibly want to love someone like me?”

Those were the thoughts in my head then. I still remember it well and thinking back into that moment is as clear as looking into a mirror. It was 2009 and I was at a Summer Camp in South Africa. It was a Christian camp, but they didn’t know how lost I was. I didn’t even realise it myself.

When I was 12, my life took quite a down-turn. I kept a dark secret hidden in my heart, lying, even to myself, pretending that it didn’t exist. In 2008, I started cutting myself. I became addicted to the physical representation of the pain my heart was crippling under. But my cry for rescue was heard by the wrong people. As I entered high school, the cutting intensified. I got involved in drinking and smoking and the people I surrounded myself with were dragging me further away from what I desperately needed: Love.

As things escalated, I attempted to commit suicide. Death became my next obsession. My “friends” stood on the side-lines, enjoying the thrill of watching me slowly self-destruct. I became interested in demon possession and fear became addicting. Sickeningly, I still went to church, putting up a façade of who I once was. I was tired of people trying to help me, and angry at them for reminding me of God. I felt worthless. Every time I was at church I was filled with nothing but hate. I was jealous. I’d come to realise how badly I’d messed up yet felt there was no way for me to justify myself, so I tried my luck with Satan instead. What. A. Mistake.

I barely remember what happened between then and December. All I remember are the nightmares. I felt like I was locked inside a robot who had taken control of who I once thought I was.

As December approached, I attended Summer Camp with my youth. I wasn’t particularly excited, but I’d become good at pretending. The theme song for that year’s Camp was Breathe into Me by Red. The first time I heard the song, I was more interested in the fact that it was rock music than anything else. However, as the camp went on, I attended workshops and being completely surrounded by people who had an infectious passion. Then the lyrics began to shout at me:

“This is how it looks when I’m standing on the edge. And this is how I break apart when I finally hit the ground. This is how it hurts when I pretend I don’t feel any pain. And this is how I disappear when I throw myself away.”

The sermon on the last night was about dealing with pain and how the only way we are justified to receive the Love of God is through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life on the cross. I was re-exposed to the glorious truth of what Salvation really is, and this time, I wasn’t blinded by raging lies and the whisperings of demons. God loves us, regardless. I decided to go up and be counted. That night I recommitted my life to God and knew, only by Grace, that I was justified.

“But God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

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Gina Botha bares blunt story today and I take my hat off to her courage, not only to have written this but to walk each day with her head held high. Today’s 500 Words on Grace give hope. Follow this funny, Jesus-loving, rocker-chick on Twitter here.

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