I’d always since a little child been aware that there was a spiritual dimension to life. I remember sitting in the sandpit at the end of the garden aged 3 and suddenly becoming aware of a warm and loving presence all around me. I remember stopping playing in the sand for a second or two and just bathing in the love. Even at that age and coming from a non-christian family I knew there was something else going on which couldn’t be seen with the natural eye.
Whizz on 20 years…. by now I was married with a baby. My husband and I were constantly fighting and the pressure of a baby and having little money finally took their toll and he walked out one May afternoon, never to return. I fell apart. I had no coping strategies to deal with the situation, I was young and naive. All I had ever known was a 2 parent family and the thought of my little girl growing up without a father was unbearable. Although we had fought and argued, once my husband had left, I realised how much I loved him, life without him was non-negotiable. I tried to get him to return, but the more I tried, the more he pulled away, until eventually he broke off all contact with us and disappeared.
By now I was friendly with a great bunch of people who would come around my flat every night and use various drugs. It didn’t bother me at all. I started taking everything they gave to me. It blocked out the pain. We would stay up all night and they would leave around 3 or 4 am as they were all working or students. I would fall into bed to be woken at 7 by my little girl. I would spend the day exhausted and crying but try my best to look after my child and give her extra love and attention because she didn’t have her Daddy. After about 4 years of living like this, it got to a point where even the drugs didn’t drown out the pain in my heart. I constantly considered suicide, but couldn’t do it because of my daughter.
I tried one last time to get my husband to come home. I traced him to a flat in London and took off down there one afternoon. Imagine his shock to see me on his doorstep! He invited me in but was cold and distant – like a stranger. I had reached the end of my rope, sitting there with him being so cold and unfeeling towards me. He told me my daughter no longer had a father and that was that. I froze. Then I felt a hand on my forehead. It was like someone pressing their warm palm over my temple. It felt reassuring. I immediately jumped up and asked him to drive me to the coach station, which he did in complete silence. I was going home. It was over. As I got off the bus in my home town there were people waiting to get on. The bus waited. I walked to the front of it – I was just about to take a step in front of it as it pulled away when there it was again the hand on my forehead. It stopped me. I think I knew then it was God.
One late night a few days later I was sitting in my flat surrounded by people and I for some reason became drawn to look at the large tree outside my window. I just remember everything becoming still and the voices around me fading into the background. I sat there staring at the tree. Then I heard it as clear as day – a voice in my head very slowly but very definitely said ‘ go to church.’ I knew immediately what this meant and where the voice had come from. It was the ‘presence’ – God, and I knew he wanted me, and I wanted him too. I knew I had to go. I decided I would go to church and give this whole God thing a go – for 6 weeks – and if nothing had happened by then to prove Gods existence to me I would give up…..
On the next Sunday I dragged my friend along with me to our local C of E church.
The singing began and I managed to stumble to my feet even though I’d hardly slept the night before. I mouthed the words to try and look less conspicuous. A song called ‘ Father God I Wonder’ began and after the first line I was a gonner.
Father God I Wonder
how I managed to exist
without the knowledge
of Your parenthood and
Your loving care,
Now I am Your son,
I am adopted in Your family
and I will never be alone
`cause Father God
You`re there beside me,
I will sing Your praises
I will sing Your praises for evermore.
Collapsing in a heap of sobs and shaking like a mad woman I fell to the ground. In that instant I knew I belonged to God and he was and had always been my Father. I knew the Bible was true from start to finish and that God loved me intensely and I was joined to him forever. All this happened as I sobbed. God showed me a picture of my friends, the drug users, the single-parents, the mentally ill, the divorced, the alcoholics, the lost and hopeless cases the ones no-one cared about. He wanted them to come to know him and he wanted me to go and tell them about his love for them!!! to me that seemed very logical. The little I knew of the Bible and what God was like showed me he was a compassionate being who cared particularly for the outcast and the lost. I stepped out of the church that morning a ‘new person’ I had no idea I had been ‘born again’ but everything looked different. I had a peace in my heart I’d never felt before and a love for others so strong it was overpowering. I had no desire to take any more drugs – and never did! I went home called up my friends -told them what had happened and within a week 3 had become Christians, having similar experiences to me…..
I gave God 6 weeks to prove himself. Infact it wasn’t until many years later I remembered doing that. By the time the 6 weeks were up I was so over taken and in love with God there was absolutely no doubt at all about his existence. It was like asking someone if they believed their husband (sitting next to them) was real! stupid question. God was so real and tangible to me there was no need to question his existence.
That was 20 years ago now. My daughter grew up without her father. It was hard, very tough for years and for her still can be very tough. She’s beautful,intelligent and a christian. She herself was born-again pretty dramatiacally at the age of 15 ie she couldn’t walk for nearly 24 hours as the power of God moved into her life and brought healing and freedom to all the places where she had needed it. It was an experience that showed me God had kept his promise. He had heard my heartfelt prayers for my daughters salvation. He had been her father, he had taken care of her and he had brought her up – better than any earthly father could.
To anyone reading this who feels led to explore Gods existence my advice would be: Take a step of faith. Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Give him 6 weeks to show himself in some way which is meaningful and ‘real’ for you. He will. In that time go to church at least once or some other place where you can meet and share with other christians and hear the Bible preached. And you will never be the same again.
Please email me if you have any questions at email@example.com
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Jesus is the Word – to be spoken.
Jesus is the Truth – to be told.
Jesus is the Way – to be walked.
Jesus is the Light – to be lit.
Jesus is the Life – to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy – to be shared.
Jesus is the Sacrifice – to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life – to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted – to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper – to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him.
Jesus is the Little One – to embrace him.
Jesus is the Dumb – to speak to him.
Jesus is the Crippled – to walk with him.
Jesus is the Drug Addict – to befriend him.
Jesus is the Prostitute – to remove from danger and befriend her.
Jesus is the Prisoner – to be visited.
Jesus is the Old – to be served.
To me Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All,
Jesus is my Everything.Amen.
(By Mother Teresa of Calcutta.)