God Gave Me Joy
My name is Genaviene Hapi, I’m 27 years old. I am a mother of two beautiful boys and have been married now for six years.
I was brought up in a Christian home since I was 3 months old. I had both parents and four siblings, I wasn’t spoilt but I was well looked after. I grew up under the teaching of biblical principles through our church and my parents. I knew a lot about Jesus I knew I was a sinner, I knew that the only way to be saved was through repentance and accepting His Lordship into my heart. I knew it, but I didn’t believe it.
At the age of 13 years old I had made up my mind that I knew what was best for me and I turned away from Jesus. From that age on I had made some bad decisions, I had given my heart out to all the wrong people and I was constantly trying to find anyone but Jesus to give me Joy.
At the age of 17 years old I met Clayton. He became my idol I worshiped the very ground he walked on (Litch). I wanted to be with him every waking moment and I thought I couldn’t live without him. At first, it was great we were in “love” and we wanted to be with each other all the time. He was the Joy I was always trying to find.
I was naïve, like every human, Clayton was flawed, and as quickly as we fell in “love” we fell out of love. He wanted his drugs, and that was it. He would do anything to get it. Again, I was left with a broken heart.
I fell pregnant with my first child not long after I met Clayton, I thought to myself, this is it I’m going to be a mother, this is going to fill that void and I’ll have the joy I was always searching for. My child will always love me and that’ll be enough. After holding my son for the first time, I realised that I couldn’t give him the love he deserved because I couldn’t even love myself, let alone him, I was a baby looking after a baby.
I began to hate myself, but I held up the façade and held down the truth. Married, two kids, stable income, no debt, cars it looked like we had it together. But I was depressed, I hated my life, I was so unhappy, but I smiled, a lot, I laughed, I had fun, but joy, fulfillment, peace, not once.
2015, It was my birthday, I was now 24 years old, I had quit my job, my family always had my children, I was drunk, and smoking weed with my husband regularly, we racked up huge amount of debt and were heading for divorce. I hated him, I hated me!
I remember hearing these accusations inside my head constantly, “you’re a liar, worthless, a hopeless mum, you can’t even look after them, look at you you’re a mess, you might as well kill yourself, how can you even stand looking at yourself.” Day in day out and they just kept getting louder. I wanted out of my life I was ready to die. I started to plan it.
My best friend Ayla confronted me not long after and said to me you’re mess, and you really need to sort yourself out. It hit me hard when she told me that. She had told me about this bible series she had found and suggested it to me. I put it on and it was about the apostle Paul's conversion. I had heard it before and it was still the same message as before, but it hit me hard this time. I watched Paul's blinded eyes open and the truth revealed to him and in this moment, I felt the same thing happening to me. For the first time, my sin stood before me and I saw myself dirty and ashamed, sinful, I saw the lies, the hate and guilt I wore.
I bawled my eyes out and I screamed (you know that ugly cry). Here’s this man who grew up knowing the Mosaic law and he kept the customs and followed all the things he knew to be right, but he was spiritually blind, he didn’t see his sin and he never knew the state of his heart until he was confronted with Jesus. That was ME I was Paul, I was blind, and I couldn’t see.
That night Jesus confronted me. He stood, and he revealed to me my heart, my sin and my shame and He said to me, I love you, and I gave myself for you.
I repented and that night I asked Jesus to come live in my heart. I asked Jesus to change me and make me a new creation. I told Him, I don’t want to do it my way any longer. I’ve had enough of trying to work things out on my own. Jesus did. That moment I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I felt my heart mend.
Because of Jesus I found Joy. I found true Joy. He has saved my marriage and my children.
I have no greater Joy then this, than to give my life to the one who gave His life for me.
1 Timothy 1:15 this is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them all.
If he can save a sinner like me, me having no excuses, how much more you?