Just after their engagement

A heart fully alive  |  February 2014
Getting ready on her wedding day




I have known Marionette since 2006: I was in my final year of studying towards a B.Comm degree and she was doing an internship at the church we both attend. We connected quickly and would have many DMCs (Deep Meaningful Conversations) over a home cooked meal and a glass of wine. We longed for the same thing – a husband – but we were both broken in our identity and realised we needed a measure of restoration before entering into a life-long commitment. And so we journeyed together over the following ten years, encouraging each other deeper into the arms of Jesus – the only One whose love could bring about such restoration.

Marionette was one of the first women I asked to document her story, but at that stage, due to a number of factors, she was hesitant. A few weeks before the book needed to be finalised, one of the storytellers pulled out (I respect her reasons for doing so) and I miraculously didn’t freak out as God again said, “Do you trust Me?” While communicating with Lenka (my sister-in-law and one of our storytellers) the following day she referred to Marionette’s illustration and specifically used the words “overcoming a sense of shame”, as she thought Marionette was contributing a story all along. I went back to Marionette asking if there had been a change of heart, and she responded along these lines: “Yes, I am excited now and I am only going to write about my journey of facing shame.” Marionette and her husband are currently on their way to Regent University in America to further their studies in Theology.



In the beginning of 2014 God said that He would heal and restore my heart, that I would no longer walk around with emotional numbness caused by hurt and brokenness. He spoke to me through His promise in Isaiah 55:13, “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” A promise for a heart fully alive!

This illustration was chosen for Marionette before her story was even written. I was walking to my flat one afternoon when the Lord said that this is the illustration for her story, a story of redeeming shame. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was before Marionette even agreed to write her story. Much less did I know what the theme/message would be if she had. I was in awe as I read her story, knowing the illustration that was already picked for her. God sees the end from the beginning; He is in all things! (Isaiah 46:10)