Yvonne came to the Universal Church as a child. She was around 10 or 11 when her mother started attending with her and her sister. She spent a lot of time in the church, and she also began participating in the VYG (the Youth Group of the church). However, she didn’t take anything seriously.
‘I acted one way in the church, but I was a completely different person outside. This meant that I didn’t develop spiritually, and eventually I got fed up of deceiving myself. I moved out because of the terrible relationship I had with my mother and soon afterwards decided to leave the church. I turned my back on everything that I had learned as a child, including God.
After leaving home, I lost my self-esteem. I developed harmful habits as coping mechanisms, such as lying and stealing. I had no integrity. I was always depending on others for reassurance, and my negative mindset did not allow me to be successful in any way.
I went on to get severely deceived in my first relationship, and I also faced physical abuse at the hands of that man. Instead of giving myself the time to heal, I went straight into another relationship, which ended after almost five years. The heartbreak of the five-year relationship brought me back to the Universal Church. It took me a long time to accept how bad things were; however, once I had accepted my reality and the fact that things needed to change, I decided to humble myself. I became like a child and learned how to do things God’s way. I started again. I knew in my heart that returning to God would ease my pain, and I was right.
In total, it took me around seven years to rebuild my life to where it is right now. I have participated in several purposes of faith, all of which have been a blessing. Moreover, in my opinion, all these things are less significant in comparison to my decision to place my life in God’s hands and to exchange my will for His. I experienced many doubts on my journey, but I honestly didn’t think of giving up once I came back. I always thought that I had nothing to go back to, so going back wasn’t an option. Knowing this—and remembering that God can see every issue I face and that He wants me to hold on to His words to overcome my battles—was what got me through the tough moments.
Today, I have peace, and I don’t depend on anyone but God because He is within me. I have a good relationship with my mum, and I’m a positive example for my siblings. I am financially independent, and my career is going well. I don’t have low self-esteem, and I don’t lie or steal anymore.
At the Universal Church, I learned that there is no mistake or problem that God cannot turn into something surprisingly beautiful for all to see. When I was at my most difficult points in life, I found I had nowhere else to go except to God. The truth is that the sooner you humble yourself and turn to God, the sooner your testimony begins.’