Sab­rina Calder-Groves’ unswerv­ing faith in prayer

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Shanique Sa­muels Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

COURT­ING IS an im­por­tant ac­tiv­ity, es­pe­cially for Christian cou­ples at the pre­mar­i­tal stage. As Chris­tians, it is ex­pected that they live a life that is ‘good’ and ‘pleas­ing’ to God. This, there­fore, brings about a Christian’s need to know the per­son whom they may end up mar­ry­ing, and that is where court­ing comes in. Fam­ily & Re­li­gion reached out to Min­is­ter An­dre Dixon from the Greater High­way Church of Christ Apos­tolic in Carter­wood, Trelawny, who shared his thoughts on the topic. “Dur­ing court­ing, one should look for qual­i­ties such as spir­i­tu­al­ity, commitment, sin­cer­ity, in­tegrity and com­mon sense. As a Christian, you can use these qual­i­ties to form the ba­sis of what to look for in a part­ner. It will also in­di­cate that you may have found some­one to be your wife or hus­band, and who could also be your best friend,” he said. Min­is­ter Dixon was, how­ever, keen to note that court­ing doesn’t al­ways lead to mar­riage be­cause there are qual­i­ties dis­played by one party that isn’t SAB­RINA CALDER-GROVES says the best thing about her Christian jour­ney is hav­ing a peace of mind, know­ing that no mat­ter how im­pos­si­ble a sit­u­a­tion might seem, the Lord al­ways takes her through it, a les­son she learnt the hard way.

“When I was about 13 years old, I went through a pe­riod of tremen­dous de­pres­sion. I had low self­es­teem be­cause my fa­ther did not be­lieve in me. He told me I was never go­ing come to any­thing and he con­stantly re­minded me how dis­ap­pointed he was with me for not mak­ing it into a bet­ter high school,” she shared.

That episode led her into a state of de­pres­sion where she at­tempted to take her life.

“I took about 30 tablets, and then I sat on the din­ing ta­ble wait­ing to die while go­ing over the de­tails of my sui­cide let­ter. When the pain started to get bad I went to my mom and told her that I was dy­ing and she gave me some gin­ger/mint tea for the cramps and pain I was feel­ing” she told Fam­ily & Re­li­gion. nec­es­sar­ily what the other is look­ing for, so the ex­pected level of com­pat­i­bil­ity may be miss­ing.

He added that there aren’t s a spe­cific time frame as to how soon af­ter court­ing mar­riage should take place. “Ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent and God’s time is not our time. What is im­por­tant is the amount of time they take to see the qual­i­ties in each other and how com­fort­able they are with each other.”

NOT A FOR­GOT­TEN PRAC­TICE

Min­is­ter Dixon says he be­lieves the male should al­ways ini­ti­ate the court­ing process, even though that is not al­ways the case. “The man must be the one to take the first step be­cause God made the woman for the man and you should go for what is yours. I don’t be­lieve the lady should make such.

“Court­ing is not a for­got­ten prac­tice, be­cause peo­ple still en­gage in court­ing. But one of the is­sues is that young peo­ple in some of the churches are afraid to, or they are not al­lowed to court be­cause the church doesn’t see it fit, hence they get mar­ried and no time was spent to ob­serve the qual­i­ties of the per­son. This some­times leads to bro­ken mar­riages, sev­ered fam­ily re­la­tion­ships, and some­times per­sons even back­slid­ing from church to go in search of what

they didn’t find

With tears in her eyes, Sab­rina said she prayed for de­liv­er­ance which came in­stantly: “I said to God, ‘Lord if you have a plan for my life, let me live af­ter I drink this tea, and if not just let me die, and if my life will be like this for­ever, don’t let me live’. I drank one sip of the tea and I started to throw up, and ev­ery sin­gle pill I had taken came up, and af­ter that all the stomach pain and cramps stopped im­me­di­ately. In that one mo­ment, be­cause the Lord saved my life, I de­cided I was go­ing to give my all to him.”

LIES AND DE­CEP­TION

She, how­ever, did not take the wa­ter bap­tism un­til three years later.

She now wor­ships at the Gim­meMe-Bit Sev­enth-Day Church of God in Clarendon.

Since she em­braced Christ, she has had to deal with men ini­ti­at­ing pre­mar­i­tal sex, peer pres­sure at uni­ver­sity, lies and de­cep­tion, and the list goes on.

As soon as she over­came one ob­sta­cle life pre­sented an­other, but with faith, she kept over­com­ing them. in the re­la­tion­ship,” he ex­plained to Fam­ily & Re­li­gion.

He also noted that dat­ing and court­ing are the same thing for Chris­tians, but may be dif­fer­ent for non-Chris­tians. “Non-Chris­tians date (and court) and sex is most times in­volved, but for Chris­tians, it should be to the point that they take time to know each other.

“I per­son­ally don’t be­lieve that it is wise to have par­ents in­volved in court­ing like that (on a su­per­vi­sory level) be­cause they will not re­veal ev­ery­thing hav­ing their par­ents around. Chris­tians should be able to trust them­selves and ap­ply 2 Corinthi­ans 6: 14 to their lives: ‘Be ye not un­equally yoked to­gether with un­be­liev­ers: for what fel­low­ship hath right­eous­ness with un­righ­teous­ness? And what com­mu­nion hath light with dark­ness?’,” he added. Sab­rina said af­ter ap­ply­ing to pur­sue a bach­e­lor’s de­gree at the Uni­ver­sity of the West In­dies (UWI), if it were not for fast­ing and prayer she would not have been ac­cepted.

“I was not ini­tially ac­cepted by the uni­ver­sity; how­ever, know­ing that a ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion was my only way out of poverty, I went on fast­ing all by my­self at church one week be­fore UWI’s school year was sched­uled to start. I stayed there for the en­tire day, and while fast­ing, I poured out my heart to the Lord. At the end of the fast I felt peace­ful and things fi­nally fell into place: who could it be but God?

“I even­tu­ally got ac­cepted and was able to start classes with a schol­ar­ship that I re­ceived from J. Wray & Nephew. To­day, I am a third-year stu­dent at UWI with a GPA of 3.64 for last semester,” she proudly pro­claimed. – S. S.

Sab­rina Calder-Groves: The best thing about her Christian jour­ney is hav­ing a peace of mind, know­ing that no mat­ter how im­pos­si­ble a sit­u­a­tion might seem, the Lord al­ways takes her through it

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