Testimony: Hannalie Joubert
We all have a story to tell. I never thought that my story would be a witness from Jesus.
We are a very ordinary family. I am Hannalie Joubert and in 1985 I married the love of my life JB Joubert the proverbial, tall, dark and handsome.
We have two beautiful daughters. Alcohol had always been part of our marriage and also caused a lot of conflict. There were always the promises “it won’t happen again”. It became progressively worse but the turning point came in 2009. At that stage we were living on a farm just outside of town. The eldest daughter was already working and the younger one was in grade 12. Our family was busy falling apart. At the same time I was able to protect him, put out the fires and keep the family intact. However JB had also started drinking during the day. So we never knew how our day was going to end. This created a lot of pressure on me and our daughter. She had to mature very quickly. This was bad for me as I could not hide the problem any longer. She was very aware of the problem which was causing a lot of embarrassement for us.
The worst of all was that you knew that there was a problem but you did not want to accept the fact. How could it happen to you? One only reads about these things in books. You protect him all the time and hope and pray that he will not make any mistakes. It is to his own disadvantage because at this stage he is unable to stop drinking himself. I was looking for help alone but in such a way that nobody knew that it was for my own husband. The family was there but only to a point. If you are not in the situation you do not realise how bad it is.
We had a time for prayer every morning. After a bad session the night before he would be waiting for me the next morning for our quiet time. I did not know the man sitting with me anymore. It was definitely not the tall, dark and handsome man that I had married in 1985. Alcohol had an annihilating effect. He was defenceless powerless shy and yet still rebellious. I always had a lot of courage after our quiet times but it only lasted until the first call at about 12 o’ clock. Then I wanted to break into about ten thousand pieces. I worked until 14:30 every day and then I would have to find him and get him home safely. I got to the point where I withdrew myself from everything and everybody. I did not speak to family or friends about the matter. The problem was hurting. I was sitting at Jesus feet. I was just praying for a miracle.
At out annual Church fete JB would work at the meat table. I had to work that morning and I only arrived at the fete at about noon. I immediately realized that he was not drinking the fete cold drinks when I saw him. He was also wearing a shiny wig. It was a carnival theme so you could not miss him!. He was selling cuts that I had not heard of and also recipes an how to cook the cuts. This was the longest day of my life. This was all to much for me. I realised that and would have to do something. After this terrible day and when everything was quiet at home I started to pray. I cried to God and asked to please give me something so that I would know what to do! I either had to withdraw or get help for JB who at that stage did not want to stop drinking. I just knew that it was not the man that I had married. In 1 Samuel 1:14-17 Hannah cried because she could not have a family. She begged God to help her. That is exactly where I was. My Bible opened at Ruth 3 verse 11. “Now don’t worry, Ruth, I will do everything you ask, as everyone in town knows, you are a fine woman.” Then a peace and calm came over me that I cannot describe to anyone. I awoke the following morning with an expectation and peace that only Jesus can give you.
A consultant came to see me at work about one of my policies. He also knew JB well and told me that he was worried about his addiction. This was not pre-arranged but I knew that this was my confirmation.
I had to do something that same afternoon. I went to see Pikkie and René Combrinck from the CAD (Christians against Drugs). They are also members of our congregations and had noticed what had happened at the fete. We decided on drastic measures (intervention) in co operation with our daughters and minister. This was successful as JB admitted that he had a problem and agreed to go for treatment. It was a traumatic time but the Combrincks were there to support me. The relief of knowing that someone understood our position and the support that we had during the 21 days while JB was away, words cannot describe. The 21 days passed and JB returned. You have to learn to know each other, trust each other and rebuild your marriage. You loose friends but it is all worth it!
Today I can look back and realise that Jesus allowed this trauma in my life so that I can give other woman hope. You don’t have to keep quiet. JB tried to give up by himself on numerous occasions, but an alcoholic cannot achieve this. When I look at him today I don’t see him as the man with the shiny wig at the fete. He has stood up and quich his heart to Jesus and taken aurthority in the home. My prayers have been answered.
We worship a great God. Never stop praying. He will never leave you. I don’t think there are three more proud ladies than the Joubert ladies. JB has been given back to us.
It is now 2013. It will be 4 years on 12 June that JB has been clean. He is healthy and doing well at work and his daughters have a very good relationship with him. I can just say “Thank you Jesus”.
Testimony: JB Joubert
The intervention took the matt out under my feet. I knew that I had a problem but did not know how to stop. I was cross, humiliated and everybody was wrong accept me. But I could not do it by myself. I was away for 21 days. There I had a real meeting with Jesus. I came back so positive. I am now healthy and everthing is alright again. I never realized what hurt I had caused my family. I called them together admitted what had happened, said I was sorry, it is the past and life must now carry on. I could not have been more wrong. For two years they did not put a foot wrong, too scared that I would start again. We never really spoke about the hurt. Then one evening we were having a good chat again.
Once again something popped up about the past and for the first time the Holy Spirit made me aware of what was happening in their hearts. I could sit and listen, cry with them and through all this laugh about the stupid things that I did. I had to hear how embarresed my daughter was when I arrived at her netball practice under the influence of liquor. How difficult it was for them when I could not provide for their daily needs.
It all come to a head and I could earnestly say that I was sorry and really mean it! Remember that by the time you go for treatment you have messed up so badly that very few people still like you. Then you choose the easy way out and that is to file for a divorce. You let everybody know that it is not your fault. However somebody must accept the responsibility. I received a second chance. I can not say enough thank you for what God allowed to happen in my life. There are many JB’s out there that do not want to admit to even say that they are sorry. After the family and I could talk an cry about things and I could earnestly say that I am sorry, the stories of the past do not come up for discussion anymore. It is not necessary anymore. Jesus has healed it all.
It is unbelievable how my family supported me and still does. God allows bad things in your life so that you can see the good things.
If I can give any advice, don’t wait for 2 years before you make a geniune apology. They did not make the mistake. Be man enough to crucify yourself. Only then will healing take place. I don’t know anybody where things are worse after giving up the habit!
To my wife and two daughters. Thank you for not giving up on me and praying for me and that you still support me all the way.
It is very important to join a support group. Join the CAD and go to their meetings every week.
All the glory to God the Father with whom nothing is impossible. I could not do all this on my own!