||Di Louwrens with husband Peter
How could a loving God allow such awful things to happen?
For nearly a decade, Di Louwrens thought she had a happy stable family in
Durban of two loving parents and younger sister, but it was unexpectedly
ripped apart by an ugly secret.
“My mother had been having affairs for several years,” Di says.
“When I was in year seven she divorced my father, and since she gained
custody of my sister and I, we all lived with her boyfriend.”
At first, the boyfriend seemed to be charming enough, but Di knew she could
not trust him.
“After the first few months he began to hit mum, and later he would beat
her. To numb the pain, mum would get drunk. Soon she was an
Still at primary school, Di was faced with the responsibility of protecting
“Mum’s partner told me that if I didn’t do whatever he
wanted, then maybe next time he wouldn’t stop hitting her,” she
When Di’s sister told their mother the abuse they were enduring,
Di’s mother refused to believe her boyfriend could be so cruel to her
The abuse ceased only when the boyfriend suddenly left three years
By this time, Di’s mother was spending what little income they had on
alcohol and her sister had decided to move in with their dad.
“Mum was a mean drunk,” Di says. “She tried to kill me at
least three times.”
During this time, Di heard more about the good news of Jesus Christ. She
ignored the message, though, believing that she could not accept “a
loving God who would allow such awful things to happen to a
After completing her final examinations Di applied for the navy, but they lost
her application, so she took a job for a year. Part of the requirements for
the job was to have a full medical and a lump was found on her lungs.
“I became very angry with God,” Di remembers. “I felt that
He had taken my family, put me through terrors and every kind of abuse
possible and now He wanted me to die in the worst possible way! I vowed to
fight Him every inch of the way, with every breath I had.
“Needless to say, it came as a huge surprise to find out after surgery
that, against all odds, the growth was not malignant and I was not going to
die of cancer. I had been given a second chance.”
The next year Di entered the navy and quickly went through her training.
Throughout it all she tested God. Di says He answered her every challenge and
then Di was given two books to read.
“My stepmother gave me two books that told the stories of people who had
worse troubles than I did,” Di recalls.
of being angry and bitter with God they were filled with the joy and peace. I
“Alone in my cabin in the Wardroom on Salisbury Island in Durban, I
accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour and took the free gift of eternal
life that He offered me.”
Soon afterwards, Di met and married a fellow Christian and as she says the
rest is “God’s story”.
“Since accepting the gift of eternal life, all that anger has gone. I
can truly say that I hold no bitterness or hatred against my mother or her
boyfriend. I have forgiven as I have been forgiven.
“The Lord had His purpose for me and needed me to walk that path. He
watched over me every inch of the way, keeping me from all lasting harm.
“I am thankful to Him that I have been able to live a normal life
— I could have used my past as an excuse to get up to all kinds of
horrible things,” Di says in conclusion.