It has been well established that as a child enters adolescence, their relationship with their father becomes even more important than in their younger phases of life. It is the father who instils the identity and blessing into the young person that will affect how they go through the rest of their life, as well as how they see Father God. Is it any wonder, then, that Satan tries to remove the father figure from many young people’s lives so early on?
Lindiwe held so much disdain for her father that she would deny her real surname to avoid being called by her father’s name. In her eyes her father didn’t care about her. He didn’t have time nor take the time to care for his children. She longed for a loving father; so she put her uncle in her father’s place, running to him to confide in.
In 2009 she was raped by her uncle. Lindiwe’s father ignored this fact. His refusal to act on Lindiwe’s pain added fuel to the fire of her bitterness towards him. She exploded with anger and hurt and ran away from home. She turned to her friends to provide shelter for her, like a nomad moving from place to place. Drugs and alcohol became a part of her life and provision for them was sourced in braiding people’s hair and giving men what they sought after.
Sometime in 2011, Lindiwe returned to her father. Disappointed by her behaviour in prostituting herself, he gave her the beating of her life. His point was made clear through the firmness of the beating. Lindiwe couldn’t even sit due to the pain. This infuriated her even more, motivating her to leave her father’s home for the second time.
An older man crossed paths with Lindiwe at this point. He offered to pay for her schooling. In response, Lindiwe complied by giving him favours. However, when this brought about a baby; the older man denied any responsibility. Naturally, his promise of an education was never realised.
While Lindiwe was struggling with thoughts of what she was going to do next; her father was trying to make contact with her. She didn’t answer his many phone calls and ignored even her step-mom’s pursuits after her. She desired to move back to live with her family but didn’t know how it would work and she wasn’t willing to inform them about the baby she was expecting. She recognised that she needed help and wanted to have some sort of counselling. Eventually, she opened herself up to her stepmother. She told her how she wanted help and her stepmom suggested Elusitweni Women’s Centre.
Lindiwe arrived at the centre to begin the program on the 7th
March 2012. Despite being 9 months pregnant, her bump was so small that the people around her were unaware of her pregnancy. Thus, it was a shock to her family when she gave birth just four days after arriving at the centre. Lindiwe was afraid of her father and hoped that he would not be called to visit her at the hospital. He surprised her by arriving and not chastising her, simply sitting there by her side.
Upon her return to Elusitweni Help Centre, continuing in the induction phase, Lindiwe was surprised when she received a card. Her surprise grew as she realised that its sender was her father. Gently, she opened the card. “We love you” was written across the page. This affirmation was what Lindiwe had been longing for, for most of her life. Since then, she has been inundated with visits from her father at the centre. Lindiwe finally has the love of her father. He calls this experience, “The rebirth of his lovely daughter.”
Although, there was restoration for Lindiwe and her father, Lindiwe’s desire was that one day her father would accept her son. She was disappointed every time he ignored her baby. Yet, God has worked on her father’s heart. Now he has even grown to enjoy time spent with his grandson. The restoration is complete.
Praise God that He can turn what was meant for bad into good. Like the valley of dry bones becoming a mighty army, nothing is too far gone for God to restore it to what He intended it to be. Praise the Lord for restoring this important father-daughter relationship.
Lindiwe (age 18) at Elusitweni