I became a disciple of Jesus Christ in 1994.
My journey started at the age of 11 years old when I was given a Bible. I read it day by day and the Lord started to prick my conscience that I was so far away from being anything like what I was reading. I really felt the weight of guilt. I started to try and not do the wrong thing each day but the more I tried I found I couldn’t do it although I had the desire to do it but fell down each time and I found out how hard it was to be a Christian.
I remember having a conversation with a colleague at work and I said to her “I’d love to be a Christian but it’s just too hard I can’t seem to do it. Fast forwarding many years down the line I’m 24 years old now and still reading my Bible and underling the things relevant to my situation and always looking in the self helps at the front of the Bible to match my situation.
I had a dream in which I was in a cold, dark, claustrophobic and fearful place with anguished crying and whaling where there was no communication with anyone there. It was just terrifying, empty and hopeless with everyone squashed together in torment of being there. I remember lots of faces crying and whaling the noise was catastrophic. There was no communication between anyone I felt trapped and fearful. I said in my dream, "Please let me out of here, please let this be a dream and not real."
I woke up immediately, relieved but terrified to close my eyes again. I knew hell was real, feeling utter hopelessness knowing that there are no second chances and no way out. That reality hit me and terrified me. I cried out to the Lord please show me what to do, how to be a Christian, I just don’t know how to be a Christian, I’m stupid, I don’t understand, it’s too hard.
At that moment the room was filled with a peace and no feeling of fear I felt the very real presence of Jesus I knew He was listening to me and that my prayer had reached His ears He was so close. The thought instantly came into my mind just like Jesus was communicating through my thoughts and as clear as anything the words came into my mind go to church. I started going to the local Methodist church up the road from where I lived. I was a single parent by this time and I thought I’ll take my daughter to Sunday school and I’ll go to church and sit at the back as I was very shy and worried I’d be asked to do something and worried about the communion and what to do.
I was on the way to becoming a disciple of Jesus but not there yet and I had a number of difficult years trying to figure it all out and making many mistakes. I had times of feeling very lonely and distressed but I can only say I poured out how I was feeling to the Lord and on a number of occasions He visited me with the warmth of His love and gave me His peace of knowing His presence was with me and that He’d heard my prayer. I felt confident He would show me what to do.
By this time I was living with a man as though married to Him and I knew it was wrong as I read my Bible and felt very sad and guilty. I went to Newcastle and heard a street preacher he was very bold and fearless and I could see the Lord was helping him. I believed what He was telling people that it’s only Jesus who can forgive sins, a priest can’t do it as he’s just a man and a sinner I remember him saying you can’t 'take the micky' out of GodI I remember thinking I want what he’s got (of course that was Jesus) He was calling people to repent and turn away from their wrong way of living and turn to Jesus. I knew Jesus was speaking to me through him.
A lady came over as I was standing in the door way of M&S on Northumberland Street. She asked me if I wanted to be a Christian and follow Jesus and I said I really desperately do I explained that I was living with a man as though married she told me what to do and she prayed for me in the middle of town and I felt the whole company of heaven was with me and I went away rejoicing.
I remember saying to the Lord I just want to be married and be happy I don’t want to live like this please help me. The Lord orchestrated my circumstances and that same year we ended up coming to the Lake District on holiday and I can only say we were bumping into Christians everywhere we went. We ended up moving to Windermere where I lived with a Christian family and they were good examples of following Jesus and taught me how to follow Jesus .
That same year I got baptised in lake Windermere and then got married soon after with a very simple registry office wedding. My husband made a profession of faith before we married but unfortunately it didn’t last and he left me after a year of married life.
I am now on my own but I’m not on my own at all as I have Jesus with me every day and He has been a most faithful Saviour to me. I now attend an evangelical church in the Lake District.
I’ve had a bumpy ride but my precious Saviour has been with me every step of the way, by His grace and mercy I’m still following Jesus.