Winding path out of mental turmoil

Koketjo Legoabe
Koketjo Legoabe

Koketjo Legoabe was a broken young man. He was estranged from his family, messing with sex and alcohol, and had attempted suicide twice.

"But my worst sin was that I was blasphemous. I had total disregard, disrespect and disdain towards God," he confesses.

Koketjo grew up in large, extended family that struggled financially and where there was "much rivalry and conflict".

He regularly attended church and was very interested in things that concerned spirituality, however, neither he nor any of his family members had a personal relationship with Jesus.

He once heard his high-school teacher talking about the need to balance our lives physically, mentally and spiritually. "That struck me as I wondered what 'spiritually' was all about," Koketjo remembers. "At the time I needed that balance because I was emotionally and mentally unstable.

"I believed if I could get this spiritual thing right, then I would be okay," he recalls. "I went to church more, read the Bible and prayed. I researched about spirituality and read about different beliefs people have. This whole new, dark world of alternative religions opened up to me. Then I looked at the world around me, and convinced myself that God does not exist at all. At the time, I sank into deep depression and started to question everything."

Thus began a long and winding journey all through his teens and early twenties that slowly, but surely, led Koketjo to Jesus.

"It was something that I was passionate about: understanding spirituality and getting to the truth," he says. "I became an atheist, changed to become agnostic, then agnostic-atheist, agnostic-pantheist and I even tried Buddhism. But nothing seemed to fill the void in my life.

"My mental health worsened," Koketjo relates. "I thought of suicide and attempted it twice, but lived. Looking back, I know God was at work in my life."

The lowest point came in 2015, when Koketjo became very seriously involved with a girl he met at university, but who lived far away. During the December recess the separation from her sent him into a deep depression and the relationship went sour and ended.

"I was so broken, I just said 'I need God!'" he remembers.

Koketjo started going to church, seeking God, but could not seem to find fulfilment. "I felt there was a barrier to my faith somehow," he says. "I started doing Bible studies with an American missionary and through that, I came to know God and the Gospel [good news] of our Lord."

Koketjo understood through the studies that he had sinned and that he needed a Saviour. "I understood what I needed to do and on the 25th February, 2017, I called upon the name of the Lord, confessed myself as a sinner, repented (expressed genuine sorrow for sin) and turned my mind towards God!" he exclaims joyfully.

"I would say the reason I became a Christian was out of desperation. I gave up trying to figure things out for myself and just gave myself to the Lord."

And it has changed Koketjo's life. "I am more mentally stable. I am communicating more with my family and resolving all the conflicts. I trust in the Lord that eventually they will all know Him for themselves. God has led me to a Bible-believing church and I can see Him working His will throughout all aspects of my life."

One major change in perspective has been how Koketjo views his wrongdoings. "I have become more and more disgusted by my sins. I know that God cannot stand sin and that the world is in the mess it's in because of sin. Through prayer and reading the Bible I have been convicted of things in my life that need to change."

There are two Bible passages that have really spoken to Koketjo. Philippians chapter four, verse 13, which says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", and 2 Corinthians chapter five, verse 17, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

To other desperate truth-seekers, Koketjo encourages, "Open your heart to the Lord. If you are struggling with depression and any mental disorder, know that the Lord seeks you, He wants to part the dark cloud and lift the fog and fill you with hope and joy. Submit yourself to Him."

And to atheists he also has a message: "This might all sound stupid to you, but I will pray for you to have your eyes opened as mine were!"

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