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As my childhood dreams died… I saw the face of God

  The day the dreams I had cherished since my childhood were shattered, I saw the face of God. I was just 17-years-old and in secondary school when I got pregnant.

I thought my life had ended, but I managed to keep my secret for almost seven months.

I was terrified of my father and could not tell anyone in my family, I just stayed silent as my secret kept growing inside my tummy. But my mother woke me early one morning. She said she had dreamed that I was pregnant.

She made me sit up and shouted at me, “Is my dream true?” I did not answer, just sat on my bed mute, like a monkey.

She picked up something sharp and started lashing out at me, shouting, “Answer me. Answer me.”

I clutched my arms around my stomach to protect my baby, but the blood began to run as she cut into my skin.

Fourteen years later I still have the scars on my wrist and near my elbows as a reminder of that terrible morning.

I could not eat. I just sat silent in the house until my brother came home from school. My mother told him what I had done.

He whipped his hard, leather belt out from around his waist and began to whip me. It was so painful.

Welts began to form on my legs, back, arms and shoulders as the manic beating went on.

Tears streamed from my eyes. I was weak. I tried to move then walk, but fell down. I literally crawled out to the little farm near our house and sat among the sugar cane.

Eventually, I twisted a piece from the stalk and began to eat and then drank some of the juice.

I felt a bit better and began to walk. It became late, but I kept walking into the darkness to nowhere and anywhere.

I could feel my baby moving inside my tummy and I looked up at the sky and muttered a prayer, asking God to lead me somewhere and keep my baby safe.

I must have had some direction as I came across the shadow of a house. It belonged to my auntie and uncle. It was in darkness, it must have been near midnight.

I could hear the dogs growling and I called out for help. The light came on and my uncle appeared at the door. He stood between me and the dogs.

Then he picked me up and helped me inside. My auntie, who is my mother’s sister, came and gave me something to eat and then some clean clothes to sleep in.

They woke me early and asked what had happened.

I told them. I cried, “I am pregnant and I don’t want to lose my baby.”

They were shocked, I could see that in their eyes, but my auntie spoke softly to me. She said, “Don’t worry. Your baby will be safe. We will help you.”

My childhood dreams faded, but the dream for the future of my first child was born and there, in my veil of tears, was the face of Jesus, staring at me from the eyes of my auntie and uncle.

When Jesus comes to call the saints, he will say, “Come you who are blessed by my father, take your inheritance, the kingdom of God prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

He will say to my auntie and uncle, “For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me to come in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:34-36).

I never became what I dreamed of as a child, but when I see the face of Jesus again, I will know what it looks like.

Because I have seen it before.