Cape Town – Using the most painful experiences in his life, Derrick Jones is opening up about his childhood sexual abuse, losing his wife of 20 years and dealing with depression to help others heal in his book Amazed.

He does motivational speaking as he tours with the book and is looking for funding and partnerships to reach more people.

The 49-year-old from Belhar, now living in Johannesburg, said he discovered his inner strength through God and through running six Comrades Marathons.

“I had to stop letting these things have invisible control over my life. I had to mourn, accept that it was part of my life and grow from it. 

"Through my struggle the sovereignty of God has controlled every aspect. I had to acknowledge I am weak and I need God’s strength or I would have never been where I am.

“The Comrades Marathon taught me perseverance and endurance. There are moments you feel like you can’t go any more, but you learn to adapt and ignore the cry of your body saying you can’t. You push through the threshold.”

At the age of five, Jones was sexually abused by a distant relative he stayed with while in foster care for a year.

Another low point in his life was when his wife died one month before their 20th anniversary, after suffering multiple strokes.

“It was like a ton of bricks fell on me. I’ve learnt you can’t turn back the hands of time. While we are hurting we don’t deal with issues head-on. 

'They happened to you - you didn’t ask for these experiences, but you have to acknowledge them. There must be a purpose and you can get through it. I had to continue living.”

To purchase the book, email [email protected] or call 0836251189.