I grew up in a happy home where my sisters and I felt secure and loved, I feel so thankful for that stable start in life. I didn’t really learn about God and the Bible as a child except at school and occasionally going to a Sunday School.
I remember, as quite a young child, sitting on my dad’s lap and telling him how thoughts of death made me feel sad and frightened and, as I grew in my teens, there were times these things were in my mind, as I think they are with many people.
I left school at l6, keen to start work, earn money and be independent. Between l6 and 20 I enjoyed life going out with friends to pubs and nightclubs and having boyfriends. Sometimes getting home in the early hours of the morning I felt, ‘there must be more to life than this’. I often swung in my mood from having a great time out with friends and yet feeling restless inside.
Then, at 20, I started a new secretarial job in Birmingham. About 3 months later a new girl started in my office, she was a Christian. She spoke to me about God, about really knowing Him, about being ‘born again’. I had never heard anything like it and thought she was ‘over the top’ about religion but I listened to be polite and I read the Christian books she lent me. She was happy and enthusiastic in her life and knowing God.
As time went on I began to think more about what she was telling me; that this was something I should be concerned about. One book in particular that impressed me was called ‘God’s Smuggler’ by a man called Brother Andrew. This man’s life was so changed from being a rebel to a follower of Jesus and this made me think about myself.
My mum and dad ran a post-office. It was a big old building with a second staircase on the first floor going up into attic rooms where I could get alone. At night I started going up there in the dark and locking myself in. There was a growing desire in my heart to ‘get to God’ and I asked Him, many times to ‘make me want to want Him’. I really didn’t know much of the Bible but I had started to read it and there was this pull towards Him. This continued for about 3 months and I spent much time in that attic room.
One evening, while talking to God, I thought about Jesus and His death and in my mind’s eye, I looked at the cross and Jesus hanging there and I knew my sins were on Him and He died in my place. I knew I was forgiven. I felt overwhelmed with unworthiness and yet I had been made clean and was also full of joy. Even now, as I think about this, over 30 years later, I am thrilled by His love and mercy to me. From that time my life completely changed, inside and out and I was excited to tell others about this Saviour I had found.
There were things in my life that God showed me were wrong and I knew He wanted them put right. I’d taken some money from my parents years before and I needed to tell them – I was so nervous but they were so gracious. Also I burned some books and music I just no longer was drawn to. It wasn’t difficult because I knew my heart had found its rest in Him, I knew I had found what satisfied my soul. I didn’t need to think, ‘there must be more to life than this’ any more because I had found Jesus.