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Keeping it real with Setiesha Hall

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Setiesha Hall: One must hold on to the unchanging hands of God to pass the test of time.

Mandeville, Manchester:

For some reason the thought of becoming a Christian to many individuals means a life free of all struggles, troubles and woes. But that is not so. Stumbling blocks will fall in the way of those who have surrendered their lives to God and true tests of faith will present themselves.

However, like Setiesha Hall, one must hold on to the unchanging hands of God to pass the test of times.

From the tender age of nine, she pledged her allegiance to God through baptism. But since then Hall has had to rise from her fall, dust off and make a recommitment to God on more than once occasion.

"My mother use to attend church on Sunday and my siblings and I attended with her, but through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit she accepted the Sabbath. I later got baptised at the ages of nine, 16 and 27."

But what could have brought Hall to the decision to become baptised not once but thrice?

"I understood the Bible, and I understood at nine what it meant to commit to God. But being in a household where your other siblings are not Christians, especially my brother who I was close to - he liked music and he would come home from parties and show us dance moves. I mean the family liked music and I was there listening to music and dancing as a 'Christian'."

As Hall got older her environment became less conducive for her Christian lifestyle.

"You cannot serve two masters, and that is what I was doing. I was going to church but still listening to secular music - that is what led me off the path. I was very active in church, but I was there physically, not mentally."

She added, "It was at a crusade when I thought I needed to be rebaptized and so I did. We eventually moved from the area we were living in and when we returned to Mandeville I wasn't going to church as often. My mother fell ill, I had cable again and I began watching the secular music videos."

Things took a down turn when Hall began attending parties.

"I started attending house parties here and there, having alcohol, dressing in short dresses and piercing my ears in three places. I still went to church on Sabbath. In my head I was keeping the Sabbath. The Bible says you cannot serve God and man because you're going to hate one and love the other, and by default I hated God."

"I reached to the point where I started going out Friday evenings. I worked at a bank and on the last Friday of the month they had this get together called 'Destress'. Little by little your conscience dies. I started going out more on Friday nights. Our group of girls were nice and hype: we knew the affluent men and the who's who. I even met someone and got married to a non- Christian at 19 years of age."

One day Hall received an awakening while at one of those 'Destress' party.

"It was the third Friday that I sat and I said to myself: 'this is the same music, same alcohol, same creepy guy over there undressing me with his eyes - this is pointless'. I called that period the Ecclesiastes of my life because I was 27 at the time."

After turning down the offer to celebrate the New Year, Hall got rebaptized.

But the temptations kept coming in different forms.

"When you are making a change you have to cut off because the 'old man' will still be there. I was still watching bad girls club - Keeping up with the Kardashians - I was still beholding what was ungodly."

Hall told Family & Religion that the new change came when she moved and had no access to cable.

"I started reading the Bible and I found it so interesting. The Bible even got worn because I was ready. It was juicy: I was reading Old and New Testament. I read Jude and James where it talks about practical Christian living.'

Having been accustomed to fancy short clothing, polished nails and processed-coloured hair, Hall now lives a life of modest dressing, with natural hair, a mind fortified with the word of God and a vegan diet.

"The Bible says the body is the temple of God and we must all be stewards of our bodies. It's a battle every day. Sometimes I feel like I look too simple and I would want to add fake hair or I enter a store and see the racks with all the cute dresses, but you have to humble yourself in the presence of the Lord."

She added: "One thing comes to mind when I think of my choice to become a true Christian: freedom. I don't have to keep up with anybody. God's law is not a shackle; the Sabbath is not a shackle it is a blessing. It profits a man nothing to gain the things of this world and lose his soul."familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com