Forgiveness and a Promise

Forgiveness and a Promise in South Africa

Johannes Adendorff, the author of A Different Plan, makes a confession to his parents and finds a new church in South Africa.

One weekend, I sat down in my parents’ kitchen, yawning as the afternoon crept on. My work as a programmer was going well, and work was keeping me busy—if not somewhat tired.

“This is just like old times,” my father said, sitting down across from me with a coffee cup in his hand.

I smiled. Before my parents had sent me to boarding school, I could remember sitting at this same table and dreaming of being a farmer just like my dad. “It reminds me of that time before I went to school.”

My father nodded. “Grootberg. We were so proud of you when you graduated.”

My smile faded a little at the school’s name. Grootberg had been a horrible place, where I’d been bullied to the point of being hospitalized. “I had a rough time there.”

“Yes, you told us you were bullied,” my mother said from the kitchen counter, turning slightly to face me.

“Everything I told you was true.” Unbidden, hot tears filled my eyes. I remembered being a young boy and calling on my parents, telling them everything that was happening. But they hadn’t helped me. “I got stabbed in high school. I was beaten almost daily…

As the words spilled from my mouth, my mother came and sat down next to me. Both of my parents’ eyes were wide, and they had tears rolling down their cheeks as I finished. “Will you forgive us for not believing you?”

I wiped some of my own tears away, feeling a lightness in my chest I hadn’t felt for years. “Of course.”

Only when we forgive others can God forgive us. With this lesson learned and forgiveness filling me to make me whole again, I began a new, healthy relationship with my parents. My mom and I enrolled in a mission school together, spending countless hours and growing with each other in Christ. It was truly an amazing experience.

Just when I thought my life had taken a positive turn, I got word from America. My girlfriend and I decided to break up, and my heart shattered into a thousand different pieces.

As I prayed about it one night, I realized that finding the right woman wasn’t under my control. The perfect relationship, like everything else, was in God’s hands. All my past relationships had failed because I had chosen the person who I thought was right for me rather than letting God direct my steps.

This time, I wouldn’t make that mistake. God had given me the ability to forgive my parents and move forward. I knew He would provide when the time was right.

A former military man and professional skydiver, Johannes Adendorff shares his experiences of overcoming adversity and bullying in his memoir, A Different Plan. After years of life in the skies, Adendorff commits his time to spreading God’s message and encouraging others to live for Jesus Christ. You can contact Johannes here.

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