I was born into a Catholic family, attended church with my parents from a child and was schooled within the Catholic education system. As a teenager I knew my religion thoroughly and yet did not know what the Lord was about to do for me in the miraculous saving of my soul.
At the age of twelve I was confirmed, being encouraged to choose the name of a saint in which to look to for guidance and to imitate in future. I chose Mary, but unknown to the people around me it was after Mary Magdalene because she was a sinner and needed Jesus, which was exactly how I was feeling. Although I did not understand any of this at the time, I now look back on it with amazement knowing that the Holy Spirit was at work in my life even then.
A few years later I attended Sixth Form College and was so shocked, here I met people that not only dared to speak views but also those contrary to the one and only teaching I had ever known. I had studied the History of the church, the Reformation and the Counter Reformation and looked in detail at the life and beliefs of people such as Luther, Zwingli and Calvin. Whilst I could not see the truth I felt that to continue in the Catholic Church was wrong so going against many people that I really loved I stopped attending church still not knowing what the right way was and being totally confused. The only thing I now believed was that there is a God.
During this time I also studied Psychology and I remember being in a classroom being taught about the Id, Ego and Super Ego yet although the theory was based totally on men’s drive in life I came out of that lesson so convinced of men’s total depravity and sinfulness.
(This was not an education given by my lecturer!)
Also during this time I met my Husband, who had a well-educated Gospel Standard Baptist upbringing and some-one that didn’t seem as shocked as I was at the turmoil I was going through and some-one I could talk to about my concerns in life.
A couple of years later we married and had our first child. I was feeding my baby one day when the Lord spoke to me. I had been praying to God about the conflicting family pressures around me, neither side of the family understood the other. I could not please one side for hurting the other and I was so confused. But I decided if I was going to have a religion then it must come from God so I sought him desperately. I was totally astounded when He spoke to me He told me to “Look to Him with my own eyes” it came in such a gentle still voice and yet with such amazing Power. I stewed for a while over the meaning of this but still did not understand so I had to pray and ask. It was later revealed to me that I should stop looking at what every-one else believed and start looking straight to God for the way and the truth.
Time passed by. I had a second child and then two miscarriages, feeling these were due to sin in my life I pleaded with the Lord for a further child and for a closer walk with Him the Lord heard my prayer and granted us a son whom we named Samuel.
Three days later disaster struck. I was diagnosed with an extensive DVT and was rushed immediately into hospital where I then gained Sciatica creating a rather vicious circle with regards to recovery as for DVT I was told to keep gently moving whereas with my back I was told to lie totally flat on a hard board, the pain was immense and recovery slow which was exacerbated by my desire as a parent to look after my three children the eldest of which was only three herself. I begged the Lord for my life I needed to be able to bring up my children.( I had much help from people around me, especially my mum, which I appreciated as I could hardly do a thing.) It took a full year before I could look after my children unaccompanied but the Lord heard prayer and granted my restoration.
It was at this time that I dreamed a dream…
The dream was powerful and real in its feeling I had never had a dream like this before. There was three whirlwinds which went passed my house and shook the house tremendously. As each whirlwind went passed there was the message that I would be safe with God, three whirlwinds and three times the message that I would be safe with God.
Neither at that time did I understand this but within a fortnight I had been left to myself, I had decided that I had had enough I began to walk in a totally sinful pathway being determined that I had suffered sufficiently and was out for enjoyment and contentment. Things felt good for a time despite the oncoming problems of divorce which had been activated by me, I enjoyed my sin and was happy to continue in it.
Until a strange sense of God’s all Seeing Eye began to make me feel uncomfortable. I was beginning to conclude that I was in need of a covering to hide my sin away from God in order to comfortably continue in it. But God mercifully did not allow this.
God spoke again. “If you play with fire, you will burn with Fire!”
The haunting words continued with me for about a fortnight, a warning, deep within my heart which I still was attempting to escape. Then it went away and I thought I was getting away with it meanwhile my husband unknown to me was fleeing our car as it had burst into flames on the way home. I dare not continue any longer in my sin. I was in fear of the Lord and brought to repentance.
My marriage was amended divorce proceedings halted and things improved. With the words on my heart of “Came to call Sinners…” I began attending chapel with my husband regularly.
One night I felt the Lords presence urging me to get my husband’s bible and read. I was reminded of when the Lord had spoken to me to look to him with my own eyes, and prayerfully I requested that if this was God then He would show me in this book that I was totally unfamiliar with the words look and eyes in the same passage. I ignorantly opened the bible on 1 Samuel and instantly I read “the Lord seeth not as man seeth, man looks upon the outward appearance, the Lord looks upon the heart.” I could see the word look but not the word eyes so I was just about to close the bible thinking that this was the work of the devil as I was drawn to the little number 4 at the side of the words outward appearance. There in the margin the meaning for outward appearance was the word eyes.
I was astonished and joyfully basked in the felt presence of the Lord.
The Lord was teaching me in a remarkable way. I was decorating one day when to tidy up the wall paper scrapings I was in need of some refuse sacks. I was wearing an old untrendy tracksuit which was covered in bits of paint so in order to look presentable to the world I changed out of the trousers and covered the top with my coat. As I walked to the shop the Lord met with me He showed me how my stained tracksuit was like my sin and my coat was like his goodness covering it from the sight of God, I marvelled at this.
The Lord then led me to baptism and the night before I was baptized I was reading the book of proverbs as my life came into view (with the contents of what I have written here.)I then read the words “As the whirlwind passes so is the wicked no more but the Righteous is the everlasting foundation.” I was reminded of that dream the whirlwind were three sinful events known between me and the Lord. I felt my sins were gone …wicked no more, and Jesus Christ was the everlasting foundation in fact He had become all things to me as He alone had done all things well, and was my covering and only hope of going to heaven.
“Arise shine my light has come, the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”.
Such powerful words blessed to me by God, as he displayed to me such undeserving mercy.
Since my baptism, the Lord has continued to walk with me and teach me, through His word, the Bible. I now am sure I am going to heaven and have a peace in knowing Jesus as my Saviour.