Cheryl-Ann Dehaney - bruised but holding on
Hector's River, Portland:
Accepting Jesus Christ as her personal saviour at an early age was fulfilling and rewarding for Cheryl-Ann Dehaney, whose Christian journey was disrupted by a failed marriage, which left her heartbroken.
Dehaney, who got baptised at age of 12 in 2000, recounted that it was while attending a crusade in Waterhouse, Kingston, that she was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, which told her that it was time to give her life to Christ.
"I felt different," she recounted.
"I heard a voice saying to me: 'it is time to surrender your life to Christ.' Back then, I felt so righteous, and it dawned on me then that if God were to come or if I had died, I would have been a prime candidate going to heaven. I truly was enjoying my Christian lifestyle as I was happy with the transformation. And as the years unfolded, I became more and more passionate about serving God Almighty. It wasn't until age 24 years that my life took a turn," she added.
According to Dehaney, she continued her Christian journey throughout her high school years, which was later disrupted following the birth of her child in 2012. Later that year, she also got married, which she said proved disastrous, and the marriage lasted for about 10 months.
Dehaney noted that she benefited tremendously from the early years spent at Kingston Tabernacle Church in Kingston, which assisted greatly with her grooming and spiritual growth in Christ. She noted also that when the challenges came about, leading up to her marriage and afterwards, that her Christian upbringing saved the day for her, even though she started attending church only occasionally.
After relocating to Portland, her Christian journey continued and became much easier as she grew spiritually stronger. The birth of her child was also a life-changing experience for her and proved to be a motivational factor as she continued on her Christian pathway.
Added Dehaney, "During the marriage, my husband and I attended church occasionally, but I never compromised my Christian beliefs, despite my infrequent visits to the house of God. Christianity saved me and it played out during and after my marriage ended as I realised that the love of Christ is unconditional and was also unwavering amid by trials. The love and passion that I developed for Christ were stronger than ever."
Now a mature Christian, who has been bruised and battered, but having learnt from her painful experiences and challenges, Dehaney has sought to reassure persons undergoing similar challenges not to lose hope, but to instead hold on to Jesus, who is the 'author and finisher' of their faith.
"Christ is the answer for the world today. Without him there is no other Jesus is the way. He is our provider, sustainer, and life giver. When family and friends abandon us, then Christ will take us up. With Jesus, there is hope and a better life.
"Surround yourselves with positive people, and never for one minute get married to a person who is not of the same faith. The Bible clearly states that you must not connect (mix) yourself with an uneven yolk," ended Duhaney.