Sibongile wanted to die. Now she is filled with joy and hope
Many thought Sibongile Ncube was a good person, but as she felt unloved and neglected by her father, her ensuing bitterness led to a terrible marriage and deep anger that only perfect forgiveness could overcome.
As a child, Sibongile remembers wondering why no-one could tell her where her father was. She asked herself, "Why does he not bother to find me?"
Rather than love her, Sibongile says, "My family members reminded me over and over that I don't belong to them. That made me battle with anger in my heart."
At the age of nine, Sibongile recalls asking her grandmother to pray that she would die.
Instead she hugged Sibongile and said, "God is a loving father and He does not kill people."
Yet she did not believe her grandmother because of the hurt and anger she felt inside.
Reflecting on her life, Sibongile says, "This world is so cruel. When the devil (God's enemy) wants to destroy your identity, he uses the very people who are supposed to love and protect you. So many times I prayed that I would die, but God had plans for me, because He does not discard what He created."
At age 19 Sibongile married a good looking young man, believing that her new husband would replace her father, but this only brought more problems.
"We hurt one another," she shares. "There were so many evil things that happened in my marriage, more than can be printed."
The marriage did not last and life was worse after they divorced. She tried to commit suicide and failed three times.
Even when she found work as a domestic house cleaner, she regretted not being able to spend time with her children and spent nights crying.
"I was full of anger, cursing and swearing," Sibongile says, before adding, "but there was an invisible eye watching over my miserable life."
She began pondering a Bible verse that her grandmother taught her: "God knows the ways of the righteous, but the ways of the wicked will perish" (Psalm chapter 1, verse 6).
Sibongile recalls, "This verse came anew to my mind. It rang in my head day and night until it became clear to me that I am wicked and my life was headed for destruction.
"Then I thought about forgiveness and I remembered that the Lord's prayer includes a request to God: 'forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us'."
Sibongile thought further about dying and going to hell and decided to search out how she could become a true child of God.
"I was used to being an outcast, and never knew a place where I would be accepted. The next Sunday I decided to go to the first Christian church I could find in the telephone directory.
It was that following Sunday that Sibongile found a church who explained to her and prayed with her, asking Jesus to forgive her sins and be Lord of her life.
Turning back from this commitment has never occurred to her, Sibongile says, as God has given her joy deep in her heart.
"I went to my children's father and asked if we could forgive one another, so that nothing can be a hindrance," she adds.
"As I surrendered my life to Jesus, He cleansed me of bitterness. My heart is now burning to win people for Jesus Christ."
Sibongile hopes her testimony will encourage many others who have had similar struggles to her.
"There is life in Jesus Christ," she says happily, "because He cleanses and forgives and gives you peace that no one else can give. I now live a happy life and am no longer bitter."
She concludes by sharing that her source of confidence about her new life comes from this Bible verse: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5, verse 17).•