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Chapter 1

“Firmly Planted In a Man’s World”

As I am sitting here writing, I am a divorced woman and a mother of two beautiful children. I am at peace and full of joy. After so many years of searching, I finally came home. I am finally where I needed to be all along—in the loving arms of my Husband, my Heavenly Husband. My journey to this place that feels like home started more than three years ago, actually nine years ago when I first found out about Kevin’s adultery. However, my Heavenly Husband only got my full attention more than three years ago. 

But let me start at the beginning, to where I met Kevin...

It was the first day of July, a cold, sunny winter's day here in South Africa. It was my first day at my new job, my second job since I graduated. I studied Electronic Engineering, specialising in Automation and Instrumentation. My dad believed that I must go and study after I matriculated (when you finish school here in South Africa) enrolling in a college or university. I had no idea what to study and the day he took me to enroll, I basically flipped a coin. Unbelievable, I know, but that is how it happened. I fell into engineering, but I quite liked it and did quite well. I studied hard and after I did my three years theoretical training, I had to do one-year practical training at a company before I could graduate. I got offered two training positions very quickly and accepted the one in the town where my parents lived. 

After I graduated the company offered me a permanent position and I worked there for almost two years. I was young, single and ambitious, bought my first townhouse and was on top of the world. A woman breaking into a man’s world, leading the way for other women to follow.

Then I decided it was time to expand my horizons and applied for another position at a prominent international company. They made me an offer I immediately accepted, a new and exciting opportunity for me. The company was in another town, but not too far away that I couldn’t drive in and out every day. My plan was to eventually sell my townhouse and move to this town and buy a new property. 

Everything was planned and organised and that cold day in July finally arrived….

The first two days were just inductions, like safety procedures, company history, things like that. To my surprise somebody else started with me that day, he introduced himself as Kevin. We had to go through the inductions together. We were both appointed as Electronic Technicians, but in different departments. We studied at the same tertiary, third-level institution, but didn’t see each other because he started a year later. I didn’t pay much attention to him, nothing about him really caught my attention. We were going to sit in the same office, but work in different departments. 

I was now firmly planted in a man’s world; the only female in an office full of men, working with the different Plant Engineers, Operators and Tradesmen. But for me it was no problem, yes I was young and single, but I was there to work and prove myself, not to get a husband. That was not one of my ambitions in life, or let me rather say, at that stage, it was not one of my ambitions.

Kevin and three other guys were single. I found out a bit later that Kevin was in a serious relationship, but because I had no interest in him, it didn’t phase me. I befriended another guy, John, and we became very good friends. John and I started to go out together, but always in groups, never on dates, then I later found out he was not interested in women. It broke my heart because he was such a great guy and I’d actually fallen for him. But we remained friends, we partied together, always drinking. I worked hard during the weeks so over weekends, we partied just as hard. Although we partied and drank a lot, I didn’t have a boyfriend, I was happily single, having a lot of friends, independent and successful. 

Kevin and John were also friends, but he never partied with us because he would go home every weekend, to his parent’s house, and to visit his girlfriend. He stayed in a small flat during the week because his parents stayed in another town. Sundays they went to church twice, and Kevin helped with the sound in the church. 

Although we worked together, and we all got along very well, me and Kevin were worlds apart. We became friends in a way, but nothing more than that.

Chapter 2

“I Fell In Love with My Friend”

The first year at my new job passed by quickly. Due to the nature of my work, I had to do standby every second week, and I had to move closer to work. I eventually sold my townhouse and rented a flat, but I never bought another property closer to work.

Over time Kevin and I became good friends, but I never developed any interest in him other than a friendship, and I always respected the fact that he was in a serious relationship. Over weekends, I either partied with John or I went to visit my parents.

I was also required to work some weekends when there were big projects, but it didn’t happen very often. Kevin’s department had to work at least two weekends per month, but he never worked over weekends because he always went to visit his parents and his girlfriend. I worked normal dayshift hours and Kevin worked shifts, so we didn’t see each other than at work.

At some stage things didn’t go well with Kevin’s relationship and one evening he came to visit me and I could see something was wrong. He told me that they broke up, he didn’t think that the relationship was working, so he decided to rather end it. I was quite shocked because I thought they would get engaged at some point. After the breakup Kevin had a brief relationship with another girl, but that didn’t work out very well. He confided in me, and I was there for him as a friend.

Kevin also started to work every second weekend because it became a problem for his colleagues that he never worked over weekends. On the weekends he worked, he didn’t go home to visit his parents.

Things changed, one Friday Kevin asked me to go and watch a movie with him. I agreed, thinking nothing of it. I also worked that Saturday and didn’t have other plans. At some point during the movie he grabbed my hand and held it during the rest of the movie. I was shocked to say the least. I did not expect it, we were just friends after all. When he took me home he kissed me goodbye and that is when our relationship began. I fell in love with my friend.

I met his parents a while later; his mother was friendly, but his dad liked me a lot and wanted me as a daughter-in-law. Things went well between us. Then came the first heartbreak. Kevin stopped by one evening like he normally did, but he was very serious—he told me that he must go back to his long-time girlfriend, that it was the right thing to do. My heart broke in pieces. I really fell in love with him but I let him go.

Soon after there was another guy pursuing me; he was a personal trainer at the gym I went to. So I moved on very quickly to try to forget about Kevin, and it kind of worked. I was putting a band-aid over the hurt.

When I saw Kevin at work I just ignored him. I was angry at him for hurting me in such a way. We were friends and he spoiled it, he should have just left me alone. But I continued with this other relationship while Kevin’s relationship became more serious.

One weekend John told me that Kevin was going to get engaged the following weekend. It hurt me but I just got more involved with the other guy, trying to forget. After the weekend, Kevin came to me and told me about the engagement. I was able to congratulate him and moved forward.

During this same period of time, my mother suddenly passed away. I went through a difficult time for a couple of months, but I buried all the pain and continued with my life as normal. But all the pain would come back to me later…

Time passed and while Kevin and his fiancé were planning their wedding, I started to look for another job as far away from Kevin as possible. Then something happened that I didn’t expect. About two or three months before the wedding, Kevin came to me and told me that he loved me, that he would call off the wedding if I would take him back. But I couldn’t, I told him that I cannot be responsible for calling off the wedding, and that I would always wonder if he thinks of her or regrets his choice. I told him if he wants to cancel the wedding, he must do it because it is what he truly wants to do and not because of me.

I got a new job and moved away while Kevin’s wedding accelerated.

Chapter 3

“I had A Void Inside Me”

On Kevin’s wedding day, I moved to the city 100km away. I started at my new job, but suddenly I found myself all alone. I was far away from my friends and family. I had no friends there and this new job was a disaster from day one. I still continued in this other relationship, but it started to fall apart, and I knew deep down that it wouldn’t work out in the long run.

On weekends I would either go to visit John, or I went to visit my father and brother. I rarely stayed at home over weekends because the loneliness would get to me. And in this loneliness a lot of hurt from my childhood (up until my mother’s death) came back to me; an incredible hurt I never really dealt with and I locked away somewhere in my heart.

For a while I tried to suppress all the hurt that came back. I tried desperately to keep it locked up, but in the end it just got too much for me to handle. Within a year, I found another job even farther away, it was a management position with a very good salary. I had a void, an emptiness inside me that I was trying to fill, and I was searching for something or someone to fill it. 

The first two days at this new job I cried so much; I just felt lost, not finding a place where I belonged and could be happy. The other relationship finally ended and that broke me even more. No, not because I loved him that much or even because of the relationship, it was more like the final nail in the coffin for me to finally face all my childhood pain.

As far back as I can remember, I always knew there was a God. I never doubted it for one second. As a child my parents always took us to church,and when we went to visit my grandparents, they would always take us to church. I went to Sunday school and eventually did my confession of faith to be adopted as a member of the church we belonged to, which enabled us to take communion.

But although I knew God was out there somewhere, it never occurred to me that maybe He is what I needed in my life. I guess I always felt like He was there for others, not for me. I did not receive any love and affection as a child from my parents and I guess it spilled over in how I viewed God; a God that sits on His throne—just waiting for us to do something wrong in order to punish us. I did not see Him as a loving God filled with mercy.

When I finally faced all my hurt, I did the only thing I thought I could do, I went to see a psychiatrist. When she did not help me feel better, I went to another one, and she booked me into a psychiatric hospital and perscribed a lot of pills for me to take. But after three days I told her I did not belong there. I threw away the pills and made up my mind that I would not follow in my mother’s footsteps. But one good thing came from this, the second psychiatrist was a Christian lady and she started to plant the seed in my heart that God is my Healer and my He is my only Hope.

Even though the seed was planted, I still couldn’t get to a place where I started to look to Him to heal me. But He was there, always knocking, always waiting for me to open my heart to Him. Yes, I read my Bible and my daily devotionals. I prayed and I cried out to Him, but it was like there was always a wall between us, something that prevented me from fully surrendering to Him.

Now, looking back, I know it was all the hurt and all the pain from my childhood that had hardened my heart. As a child and into my teenage years, I used to lock myself in my room over weekends to escape the reality of the things that happened in my parent’s house. Sad things that no child should see or go through. And that was exactly what I did with my heart, I locked my heart away and that prevented me from having a relationship with God. I tried desperately to fill the emptiness myself, but I couldn’t. 

My earliest childhood memories were happy memories; we were a normal family. We went to church and we did a lot of normal things as a family. Everything felt and seemed normal. When I was born my dad was studying towards his doctorate degree full time, my mother was a teacher and she supported my dad in his studies (my dad had a bursary, a scholarship, and that is how we survived financially. 

After my dad finally graduated and received his doctorate degree, he was offered a very good job at a company in the town we stayed. My mother was able to stop working and became a housewife. My parents started to attend a lot of work functions together, but my dad also attended a lot of work parties alone and and that is when he started to drink. They also had friends they used to go out with, and something happened there that changed everything. Until today I don’t know what it was, but something happened that changed my parent’s relationship. I do remember fights about a blonde lady, but that is all. 

Over time, my dad started to drink more and more, not just at work parties, but also at home. At one point he was admitted to hospital and I guess he was there to get sober. Afterwards he didn’t drink again, not that I can remember, but he applied for another job and we moved to another town. And that is where things turned really ugly.

Before I continue to the next chapter, I must add something here. I feel led to include things that happened in my childhood in this novel. It is not my intention to speak badly about my parents, I’m thankful I’ve reached a place in my life where I can think of my parents with love and understanding. I realize that things happened in their lives that caused them to do what they did and I forgave them completely. But maybe there is somebody out there who went through something similar and it is my hope and prayer that my story might help them, while trying to remain as discreet as possible.

Chapter 4

“I Escaped to a Fantasy World”

After we moved to the new town, things went well for a while. My dad had a well-paying job as the head of the laboratory for a fertilizer manufacturer and my mother continued being a housewife, she didn’t want to go back to teaching and didn’t need to. We were a middle-class family staying in a new four-bedroom house in a good neighbourhood. My brother and I were still in primary school at that stage and we quickly settled and made new friends. Everything seemed normal on the outside.

Sundays my dad would take us on field trips to museums or sightseeing, he loved teaching and showing us new things, always expanding our general knowledge. Those were the good times I remember and treasure in my heart because at some point things changed again.

My dad befriended the company’s representative and he went with him to visit farmers to sell and get feedback about the fertilisers the company produced. Afterwards they would go to pubs and my dad started to drink again. First only during these visits, but later at home over weekends as well. I used to dread weekends because my dad’s drinking would lead to fights between my parents. Later these fights became physical, with him hitting my mom, and later she started fighting back. Over weekends I locked myself in my room, escaping into a fantasy world where I played with my Barbie-dolls. My brother disappeared over weekends, playing outside or going to his friend’s house.

Then something happened that I couldn’t really grasp or understand at that age, I was about 10 years old. One Friday we went to visit my dad’s friend, the representative, which turned out to be a drinking party as always, I stayed over that evening because I was friends with their daughter. The next morning my dad phoned to say he was on his way to pick me up because something happened. On our way home he just told me that my grandparents came to visit and he hit my grandfather. I couldn’t understand why but when we got home things started to unfold.

My mom and my grandparents (her mom and stepdad) all sat in the living room and I could see everybody was crying. They called my brother and me in and then started to tell us what happened. My mother’s biological father died in a car accident when she was about 3 years old, my grandmother married again very quickly to a man I got to know as my grandfather. I knew him as a Christian man, but it turned out he was not always like that. They had two more children, my aunt who is my godmother and my uncle. When my mother was still a child, he abused her, but not his biological daughter. My mother didn’t tell anybody what happened, not even my dad, and that weekend they came to visit because my grandfather wanted to ask my mother’s forgiveness, although he repented and became a Christian some years before. That was the day my dad found out what happened and in his anger he hit my grandfather. I never knew abuse even happened in real life and couldn’t really grasp the extent of something like this happening to somebody. I have heard about it, but as a 10-year-old I did not understand the impact it had on a person or the hurt and pain it caused the victim of this horrendous act.

Within a year after this event my grandmother passed away suddenly, I took it very hard because she was my rock, the only normality I knew. Over school holidays my brother and I went to visit them and that was my escape from what happened at home. That was also the day I lost my mother, not physically, but she changed after that, it seemed like my grandmother’s death threw her off the deep end and she started to fall into depression, and started to use antidepressants to cope with all her hurt and pain.

Things continued like always with my dad drinking over weekends and the physical fights. Soon it was time for me to go to high school (secondary school). The weekend before the school started, I stayed at my best friend’s house who lived down the street from us. That Monday the two of us would go to town to buy school supplies, but we had to stop at my house to get money. As I opened the front gate I could see something was wrong because some of the windows facing the gate were broken. I thought somebody tried to break in because when I went inside there was blood everywhere. It turned out that it was my parents fighting the previous evening, my mother had a black eye and somewhere in the process my mother pushed my dad and he fell into one of the bathtubs, hitting his head on the tap, cutting open the skin on his forehead, at that stage he was at the hospital getting stitches. I never felt so embarrassed and angry in my life; here I was standing with my best friend, two days away from starting high school, witnessing what happened the previous night. We just turned around and walked out. Outside my friend told me that I did not have to feel embarrassed, that she understood because the same kind of things happened at her house, which I never knew because things like this are kept quiet. Later that day her mother took us to buy school supplies, she and my mother were also best friends, I guess they comforted each other being in the same situation. This is one memory that I can still recall vividly because of the impact it made on me.

That is how my high school years started, and things didn’t really get better. My dad went to rehab a few times and eventually, he did stop drinking, he also stopped visiting or going out to see clients with the representative, but at this stage, my mother started to drink on top of her taking antidepressants. 

Chapter 5

“I Really Thought It Was Normal”

During my high school years I noticed that my mother drank and took a lot of pills each day. I didn’t think anything about it, I thought it was a adult thing; once you become a adult you start drinking, taking pills for everything from blood pressure to depression. During high school I made more friends and when I visited them, I noticed the same thing, everybody seemed to struggle with depression and was on medication for everything, so I really thought it was normal. 

At some point my mother was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where she stayed for two weeks. During that time, she received electroshock therapy or ECT. Apparently, they use this kind of therapy for severe depression or bipolar depression when the patient does not react favourably to medication. At that stage, I thought if it helps, then its probably not a bad thing. We went to visit her a few times and she seemed to be doing very well.

After my mother was released, she functioned normally, or at least it looked like it: she cooked every day, she went to visit her friends, she went for creative sewing classes, she saw to it that we had everything that we needed and she even started to go to gym—so nothing seemed off in the way she went about her normal day-to-day life. Unfortunately underneath the depression was still there, a very real part of her life, so she needed all the pills to function. 

Things went okay for a year or two, my dad didn’t drink anymore, my mother went about her daily life, but there was clearly a rift between my parents. My mother didn’t want anything to do with my dad, or so it seemed. They treated each other very business like, there was no affection between them. My relationship with my mother also became very strained, she blamed me for everything, or that’s how it  felt. I remember she stormed into my room one evening, after I asked my dad for something that I needed, and she started yelling and hurling insults at me, but it was the hatred in her eyes that stuck with me for a long time. 

After a while I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and I unfortunately started to fight back. The two of us couldn’t be in the same room for long without fighting and yelling about something. That was our relationship for many years and later, I just avoided her as much as possible.

After a while my mother met another couple and they decided to start a small business from our house. My dad was not happy about it, but my mom made up her mind and they continued with this crazy idea they had. This couple  would come over once or twice a week in the evenings and then they would drink wine while they worked. During those times my brother, my dad and I would just go to the living room and say nothing. Luckily it didn’t last very long, but drinking wine in the evenings rubbed off on her and it became a habit. During the day she functioned normally, but in the evenings, she would drink a few glasses of wine, go to bed and sleep until late the next morning. I think the mixture of the wine and all the medication caused her to sleep a lot and she would go into a incredibly deep sleep, nothing could wake her, and it was best to just leave her to wake up naturally. 

During my second to last year of high school, my dad got retrenched because the factory he worked for closed down. After he was laid off, he didn’t struggle to find another job, and so to help we had to move to another town. I was busy with my record exams, which is very important exams before your final school year, so I had to stay behind and go to boarding school to finish the year and also matric to enter a university. I quite enjoyed my time at boarding school. I only went home once a month and school holidays; I didn’t really miss my parents during that time, because I didn’t miss the drama. But my mom took moving to another town very hard, and she missed me a lot. I think despite the fact that we didn’t get along, she loved me very much, but due to her own struggles she didn’t know how to express her love for us. The time apart did help our relationship a bit, but it only healed completely later on.

My mother really struggled to adapt to the new town, although she was closer to the family. The depression medication she was on for years, were suddenly discontinued. After that, they prescribed many different medications, but nothing seemed to work and she fell deeper and deeper into depression, drinking more to kill the pain inside of her. After I completed school, I moved back home to study at a tertiary, geology institution. There were universities and colleges in that town, so I was able to study from home, but it came with a lot of drama. 

My mother had to go for a hysterectomy and afterwards she just gave up, she didn’t take her hormone replacement medication, or her depression medication. She just drank from the time she woke up, stayed in bed and didn’t want to live anymore. We all tried in our own way to reach out to her, only to be met with hatred and anger. It continued like that for years. She went to a psychiatric hospital again, but it didn’t help. She stopped doing anything in and around the house like she always did. I took over the cooking and everything else in the household. During all of this my dad just kept quiet. He tried whatever he could to help my mother, but nothing helped because she didn’t want anything to do with him, or with me and my brother.

After I found the job I shared about in chapter 1, I went to visit my parents at least one weekend per month. During those weekends, I could see that my mother tried to be normal for me, but the relationship between my brother and mother took a turn for the worst at this stage and was never restored. Then things took a weird turn. My mother asked my dad for a new car, and when he got her one, she started to get up, dress nicely and went to town to buy herself new clothes. She went to visit friends and family, phoned me regularly to tell me how proud she was of me—she even looked for godparents for me, although I took care of myself. That Christmas she really tried to make it enjoyable for us as a family and cooked and sat with us to eat. 

That following January my world shattered. It happened on a Friday afternoon. I was going to visit my parents for the weekend, and I was looking forward to it since my mother had changed so much. I had to wait for a colleague to pick something up before I could leave and while he was there, my dad phoned me. He told me my mother passed away, she was not feeling well during the day, and when he went to the room to take her to a hospital, she was lying on the floor. We discovered she had heart failure. I couldn’t believe it, I phoned my aunt because they didn’t know yet and they came to pick me up because I was in no state to drive. I just cried and cried for more than a week non-stop. I couldn’t believe that I just lost my mother after I’d just gotten her back. On the day of her funeral, all my work colleagues, including Kevin, came through to support me, so I tried to put up a brave face, but I was broken. 


After a while I just buried the pain and I continued my life as I mentioned before. Looking back, I think my mother knew she didn’t have much time left and she tried to make the most of the time she had, and why she tried to fix our relationship. I also believe the way I was  being held up due to waiting for my colleague on the day of my mother’s passing, was the Lord’s way of protecting me, otherwise I would have been home when she died, and He knew I would not have been able to handle it. My brother got into a fight with her earlier that day because he was discouraged with the situation and he left, never to see her alive again.

To read Adina's Custody Novelette, please go to RJN “My Custody Loss” Adina Jacobs

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3 thoughts on “RJN “My Journey Home” Adina Jacobs”

  1. Adina, let me be the first to comment. I just finished chapter 4, “I Escaped to a Fantasy World,” and I have to say that this chapter was the most compelling, riveting chapter I remember reading in any RJN (the other one was Yvonne’s when her mother basically died or began dying in bed with her.
    These are not only REAL stories, but it’s seeing and knowing you NOW, your life, His grace—ALL of it keeps me more in awe of HIM and how much we need more women like you, Yvonne, sharing your journeys so that every woman knows how she too can find and live her ABUNDANT LIFE no matter what her life has been!!

  2. Thank you Erin, it’s not easy writing about this, but it is part of my story, part of my testimony, part of the plan He had for my life. I can look back now and be thankful for MY life and what I went through, because it all led to where He brought me now on this journey towards Home.


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