I first discovered my dad was cheating on my mum when I was 20.
It started off with fishy images I saw him receiving on his phone. Then, he started to make morning calls every day after my mom had left for work.
I was sure he was cheating on my mom but I didn’t dare to say anything. How was I supposed to talk to my dad about this?
I was also afraid of the repercussions if the truth came to light. Knowing how emotionally attached my mom was to my dad, I feared she would mentally collapse and plunge into suicidal thoughts if she knew the truth. I was worried about how my younger siblings would take the news too.
For many years, I kept silent. The secret weighed heavily in my heart but I had no one to turn to.
I was the only believer in my family when I first came to know God in 2005. I was 13 then.
Being a Christian in a non-Christian family wasn’t easy. My parents objected to my faith; I wasn’t allowed to go to church for a year, or even leave the house on Saturdays, during service timings. My relationship with my family was strained because of this tension.
Somehow, eventually, my parents softened their stance, and they began to allow me to attend church services. I wasn’t the perfect daughter, but I believe my parents could see the gradual transformation in me as I held fast to the Gospel and continued to walk with God.
Then, one of my sisters came to know Christ. It didn’t happen overnight; it took time, over our day-to-day conversations, before she decided to put her faith in Jesus. This encouraged me to persevere with my parents’ salvation.
For many years, I kept silent about my dad’s adultery. The secret weighed heavily in my heart but I had no one to turn to.
In December 2014, my mom attended an outreach event at my church. This was unimaginable, to me – someone who had once banned me from going to church actually agreed to step into the House of God. She received Christ that very day.
I wept as she recited the Sinner’s Prayer. The wait for my mom to know Christ had been long and arduous.
But God was far from done.
He told me – convicted me in my heart – that I needed to do something about my father’s adultery, three years after I had first found out about it.
And so, I gathered up all my courage and confronted my dad. Either he tell my mum the truth – or I would.
The entire family was thrown into turmoil when my dad confessed. My mom was livid. She wanted a divorce.
My dad went on his knees, begging for forgiveness from each of us. There was lots of screaming and shouting. Unable to face my dad any longer, my mom walked out of the house.
Thousands of thoughts flittered through my mind. Where would my mom go? Would she do something silly? What about my siblings? How are they taking the news?
Being the eldest child in the family, I had to step right into the situation and take charge even though I was just as lost, and just as afraid.
I eventually managed to find my mom. Part of me was relieved that she was physically safe. Yet the other part of me was filled with trepidation of what the future holds of my family.
She refused to go home and insisted on checking into a hotel. I accompanied her. With every step I took toward the hotel, I made a little prayer to God.
Please God, please.
I spent that night with my mom. We cried. We prayed. We listened to worship songs. This went on all night; neither of us could sleep.
The next morning, I received a text from my dad. He told me he felt the need to go church that very day.
I was surprised. He had been adamant about avoiding anything related to God and Christianity. At the end of the service, he texted me that he accepted Jesus.
I couldn’t see how God was present in the situation; I couldn’t see how He could deliver my family. But God did it.
“I used to avoid church because I felt so unworthy in front of God knowing how sinful my life was and yet not wanting to change,” he said. “But I’m now truly convinced of my sins. I’ve repented.”
My dad humbled himself and showed signs of remorse. He stopped contacting his mistress and became more involved with my family.
It wasn’t easy for my mom but she found it in her to not only forgive my dad, but also reconcile with him. They are now faithfully serving in the same church and cell group together.
I remember the years I interceded for my parents’ salvation. Many nights I fought on my knees, praying for them despite knowing the circumstances.
I only kept going because someone had once persistently done the same for me. Sometimes the harvest comes quick and easy, like with my sister; other times, so much patience is required as the fruit slowly ripens. There are even times when it feels like the tree has withered and there can be no fruit.
But we have to persevere and believe that God can do the impossible.
It took 9 years before my mom crossed the line of faith, and another 2 more before my dad received Christ. The events leading up to their conversion wasn’t easy – I couldn’t see how God was present in the situation; I couldn’t see how He could deliver my family.
But God did it. He did it. Out of adultery, and into a relationship with Him.
*The author’s name has been changed to protect her identity.