A hurtful end filled with humiliation
Battling depression, the crumbling of her 18-year-long marriage and children who became drug addicts were what Alice had to deal with before she attended services at the Universal Church.
Alice's husband became emotionally abusive towards her when the church he headed closed.
"He told me it was my fault that many of his church members stopped attending the services because I was demon-possessed. Whenever I went to visit my parents, he accused me of cheating on him with other men. There was always tension in our home and we sometimes did not talk to each other for days. Even though there was no affection between us any more, I still hoped that things would one day change," said Alice.
Her hopes for a happy marriage ended when her husband gathered all her belongings and delivered them to her parents' place.
"I had visited my parents with my three children when my husband came to drop off black refuse bags filled with my clothes and our children's clothes. He then told me not to return to our home. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I was shocked and speechless. I found it difficult to understand that my marriage of 18 years had ended just like that.
I felt people were laughing at me when I walked in the street. I later slipped into a depression and avoided being around people,” she said. Separating from her husband was not all plain sailing since she also had financial difficulties and her two children started using drugs.
"My husband stopped providing for our children financially and that put me under financial strain. Our two boys, who were 14 and 18 years old at that time, were badly affected by the separation and they started using drugs. They underperformed at school and eventually failed their grades. It was a particular kind of madness in which I did not know what to do any more. The only thing that kept me going was the support I received from my family. While going through that traumatic time in my life, I remembered a few invitations that I received from the Universal Church and one morning I decided to go to the church and ask for a prayer," she said.
The prayer she received gave her hope and marked the beginning of a new chapter in Alice's life.
"I continued attending the church services. I committed my life to God and surrendered all my problems to Him. That same year I found a well-paid job and that was the end of my financial strains. I asked God to deliver my two sons from drug addiction. I understood that there was no greater love than God’s love and that alone made it easy for me to forgive my husband for abusing and chasing me out of the house.
After barely a year in the church one of my sons stopped doing drugs and started attending church services with me. I am continuously praying for the other one to change and stop taking drugs.
The last time I saw my husband was when I delivered our divorce papers for him to sign, but he refused. I have made peace with the painful end of my marriage. We are however on good speaking terms, including with our children. God restored my dignity and He lifted me up," she said.