“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back”
‘Christ is Enough‘ – Hillsong
Hello! Welcome to my first faith post – Why Christianity?
I haven’t really openly discussed with many of you, why I became a Christian, and so I wanted to tell you my story. This post set’s the scene for the rest of my blog.
Some questions for you…
1. Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room?
2. Have you ever felt like you have everything, but there is still something missing?
3.Have you ever felt like the solution to the void, was a man or woman?…
Back in August 2011, my uncle Ash (mums 1st cousin) died from Cancer. It was a shock to his nearest and dearest, including my siblings and I. He was approx 52. Another young one in our family to go. His death made me question my existence and purpose…as I was already doing this, my grandfather passed away, followed by our great aunt. Within four and a half months we had lost 3 family members.
When my grandfather died in December 2011, I moved to London straightaway to care for my grandmother. I resigned from my job, left my siblings and friends behind in Milton Keynes. I felt this darkness, something which made me fear sleeping at night, I would cry all the time and I didn’t know why…it was a tough time, really rough for both my grandmother and I. She had lost her husband of 67 years and I had lost a father. She was 80 and I was 28. We had a very close bond, like mother and daughter, we laughed, cried, fought, shared tears of sadness and joy. We ate together, went through the pain together. My grandmother went off to America to be with my aunts and uncle for three months in June 2012, and I stayed at her flat. I could still feel this dark thing around me, I just had no idea what it was. It felt like someone had put a spell on me.
In August 2012 for around 2-3 weeks I kept feeling like I was being called to go to Church.
I would see churches but the doors were always closed. I was like ‘Okay God, you want me to go to church but the doors are always closed, how does that help?’. Let’s just say God has his own timing…his timing. Never sooner, never later than what he has planned.
5th September 2012, it was a beautiful hot day. I had a job interview in Maidenhead, I got ready and left early, only to then hit traffic, caused by a burst water mains near Brent Cross. I kept calling the recruitment agency to keep them in the loop. I did arrive…though an hour later than scheduled, I left after twenty minutes. I felt horrible, all I wanted to do was cry. I got back to my car and thought if I go back to the flat, I am only going to cry, I have to do something productive. So I desperately tried to find somewhere but couldn’t. I drove for a few mins and pulled into a hotel car park. I again tried to search for somewhere to go, somewhere, where I could walk and forget everything. Nothing. Then I just drove…
I remembered Windsor was on the way and managed to find my way there. I got myself to a car park and called my best friend from university, luckily she was working there! Hallelujah! We met for lunch, then she headed back to work. I decided to go for walk.
Whilst on the phone to another friend of mine, I ended up outside this church. There was a big sign outside which said ‘ALL WELCOME TO OUR BAPTIST CHURCH’…finally! I told my friend I would call them back.
I walked up the steps and into the church…there was no-one in there and that freaked me out. It was dark inside and it made me feel uncomfortable. As I usually do in churches, I started to look round and I got to this table. There on this table were a few bowls, some empty and some with lentils as well as a sign, which said ‘what’s weighing you down in life…career, money, love?’ and I just started to cry. I looked around to make sure I wasn’t making a fool out of myself, but nope, not another soul in there. I walked across to the left-hand side of the church and there were candles you could light and a prayer. So I lit a candle and said the prayer.
I went and sat down on one of the last pews. I started to cry hysterically, with tears streaming off my face, and I could hear my echos back. I knelt down on a pillow and just said ‘God please take away this pain, I can’t take it anymore’, there and then I felt something like a hand on my chest and instant peace. Whatever that darkness was disappeared within seconds. I had no idea what just happened, but I was blown away. It felt like that day, that moment, in that church, was made for me to have a one-to-one with God…and no-one could have take away that from me. I was saved…that very moment by Jesus. Although at that time, I had no idea what happened.
I got up and looked around, and still no-one else was there. I remember walking out, and people were just looking at me, as if I had a glow around me. I went home to the flat, and I slept! Without any fear, without that darkness. I still had a lot of work to do…I wanted to find out what happened in St Johns Baptist Church (Windsor). In all honesty, at that point I had no idea. I called the church and asked to speak to a vicar, I told them what happened and they invited me back to Windsor. A few weeks later I went down to see the vicar at her house and she explained that I was filled with the Holy Spirit…my first thought was ‘what’s the Holy Spirit?!’ As she explained, I still didn’t quite understand. I remember going back to my aunts that weekend, and I went along to her church, I shared my story with a few people and they again mentioned the Holy Spirit. I was still baffled and trying to get my head around, what this meant.
A few weeks went by and we hit November 2012. My grandmother was back from America and on this particular day in November, I had decided that after not really having a permanent job for several months, it was time for me to move home, as I was struggling to get a job in London. That was hard for my grandmother and I, but I had to get my life back on track. We had a little disagreement as obviously she was unhappy with me leaving, but I felt this strong sense inside, that I had to go.
I went home for a week to clear my head and I decided to go to St Mary’s in Bletchley (this is a church I saw everyday on my way to school, but never went to). The doors were shut…was I surprised – nope! Normally I would get back into the car and go home, but not that day. I looked at the church board and called the church office. I went to the office, explained my situation and two lovely ladies Nicky and Frances, gave me a prayer book, then sat with me in one of the rooms at the back of the office.
Now in the Christian faith there is a verse which says “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20. Que Catherine the vicar, she’d only popped in to use the ladies! Nikki heard Catherine arrive and she joined us in prayer. How blessed was I! We prayed for what was bothering me, and within that week…I moved home and got a temporary job.
And folks….that’s only part one of my amazing journey with Christ!
St Mary’s Church Bletchley
(Photo credit: RNA Bletchley)