Separated from God – and returned to Him

By admin
03 December 2013

Military service saw Jackie drifting further and further away from God. But now with his mind not what it was, his faith has again become the centre of his life, writes Michelle Fourie in her blog about life with her brain-damaged husband.

At school my husband Jackie was chairperson of the ACSV (Afrikaans Christian Student Association) and a KJA (Church Youth Action) leader. They were positions reserved for exemplary young men who understood and lived by the Bible’s principles. Remember this was the 1980s – they weren’t deemed fit for young women at the time.

photo Jackie was good at sports at school and had colours for rugby, gymnastics and diving. This is our matric class in 1985, Jackie and I, who began dating at school, are in the second row next to each other.

And then came the army. Two years of military service changes people, and Jackie suddenly had many questions about religion and was conflicted by inner turmoil – it was a struggle I didn’t understand and later I no longer wanted to fight it either.

Eventually we didn’t talk about God any more and, to my shame, I left it, which meant we no longer went to church.

And then the accident happened. And he alone got hurt so badly. And he’s talking about people he can see . . . people who’ve long been dead, but he doesn’t realise this.

He “sees” Jesus. But says Jesus was “a bit cross” with him. He talks about the many tall people who were gathered around his bed. And the light. About his mom and dad who are always with him. He argues with me when I tell him his dad died 18 years ago – because he was here with him just a moment ago. It’s the same with his mom, who died five years ago.

There’s so much we don’t understand . . . especially about Tannie Mariëtta’s “ander kant” (other side)*.

Along with the incoherent, contradictory behaviour his life again starts revolving around God.

Miracles happen. We’d searched for nearly four years for a place in a retirement complex for my mom. A month before the accident we find the perfect place, and her flat in Vryheid (in KwaZulu-Natal) is snapped up by the first person who comes to view it. A month later she’s living a few kilometres from us here in Pretoria.

Collage On the left are our sons, Jacques (15) en Ruan (7), with my mother, Let, in her garden in Pretoria. On the right are the three with Jackie two weeks before his accident.

It’s as though God knew we needed her close to us now. She provides me with the stability we wouldn’t have had otherwise, and she’s a shoulder we can cry on.

It leaves me with a feeling that we’re being looked after.

There’s definitely a bigger plan.

* In kykNET TV programme Die Ander Kant Mariëtta Theunissen tries to put people in touch with loved ones who have passed away.

Michelle Fourie-Michelle

* Michelle Fourie lives in Pretoria, where she has a thatch-roofing business. She blogs weekly for YOU about how her and her family’s live changed when her husband sustained irreversible brain damage in a car accident.

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