I was born and raised in a beautiful country called South Africa, in the province of KwaZulu Natal, in a city called Pietermaritzburg. My name is Zama Mahaye. I am 34 years of age and a born again Christian who is totally sold out to Jesus. I am the eldest of my siblings. I currently work as a Training Manager, which I totally love and am grateful to God for. My job makes me meet different people from different walks of life and gives me an opportunity to give hope and impart knowledge at different levels.
So growing up I struggled a lot with my identity and self-worth. No matter how many degrees I accumulated, or assets I had under my name, all those things just never really gave me satisfaction. With everything I had and everyone I had around me, I felt lonely and incomplete. It didn’t help that I am an introvert; that on its own made life difficult for me because even with close friends I didn’t really let them into my world. There were certain parts of my life that I felt I should keep to myself and only interact or love people from an arm’s length. I grew up a loner. Yes, I had lots of people around me but still I was alone. Until one day I stumbled upon a Psalm by David when he said, “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him" (Psalm 18:24 MSG). From that day, I found a best friend. Someone I can pour my heart out to without fear of being judged. Someone I can talk to any day. Someone who listens and gives the best advice - I found all that in Jesus.
Being in Christ also helped me with my identity issues. I felt or rather thought that an individual was identified by their background or by affiliations and associations, until one day as I was doing my Bible reading I came across a verse that spoke and changed my view of self completely. Acts 17 verse 28: “For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” This was a turning point in my life. For the first time, I didn’t have pressure to belong or be accepted by anyone. This verse let me in on a beautiful truth that it’s in Christ that I live, and it’s through Him that I navigate through life, and my identity comes from Him. This truth led me to want to know more about what Christ says about me. Some of the truths I found in the Bible about who I am are:
1. I am loved and accepted.
2. I am forgiven and made righteous through Christ.
3. I am chosen and important.
4. I am a gift in the body of Christ.
The 4 points I mentioned above do not sum up all of what God says about me. However, I took just those because, for the longest time, I struggled with acceptance and identity as well as finding my purpose. Before I knew these truths I never really thought someone like me could be a useful tool in the body of Christ.
With my passion for people and writing, I have since started a program called Taking Stock, where I actually write and talk about issues like identity, emotions, mental health, and the like, that we as Christians go through yet are often ashamed to talk about, whether because of fear of being judged or perceived as less Christian. This is where I believe that God has called me, and each day that I dedicate to this program I get full satisfaction and such joy knowing that what I went through and I thought of as death is now healing and helping a lot of people from different walks of life.
My journey hasn’t been any easy one, but I am grateful for each and every chapter. More than anything I am excited about what’s ahead. I know that God has so many great plans for my life and the best days of my life are still to come.
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