I grew up under a single mother as my father was not present. I was raised under grace teachings, and since my teen years, I always listened to Joseph Prince’s sermons on television.
When my wife was pregnant, I was very excited and could not wait to be a father. But when my son was delivered, I suddenly fell into anxiety and fear of becoming like my father, who had not been present in my life. I wanted to be there for my son, but every time I saw him cry, I experienced a panic attack that took away my appetite, and I wouldn’t eat for days. I saw a doctor, but the medicine I was prescribed was too strong, and it made me tremble from time to time.
I saw doctor after doctor and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for two weeks. There, I saw psychologists and occupational therapists. They helped me with accepting that I can choose to not be like my absent father, but this did not help with the morning panic attacks.
One evening, I watched a short sermon of Joseph Prince where he preached about the gift of peace. Since then, every morning, I would speak the gift of peace into my life along with Psalm 91. I’d declare John 14:27 over myself: “Peace You leave with me, Your peace do you give to me. Not as the world gives, do You give unto me. Let not my heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.”
I prayed that every morning and took part in the psychiatric activities and sessions as prescribed. Before I knew it, my psychologist told me that she was happy with my progress, and I was ready to go home! It was at that moment that I realized I had gone back to being normal and I was eating again.
I have no fear of parenting anymore because I understand that when I am resting and at peace, the Holy Spirit will teach me all things, including being a good father.
Today I am writing this testimony and am back to being very excited to continue fathering my son. I have also forgiven my father and am happy to reconcile with him.
Praise the Lord!
Tshiamo Selebano | South Africa