I was brought up in a Catholic family and attended church every week. I was aware of God during my younger years. However, I fell away from Catholicism and ignored my religion, mostly because I had no real understanding of the Lord.
I chose instead to make my own decisions, living the way I wanted. I lived for weekends and partying, and used words I shouldn’t, not considering anybody else.
I was living for ‘me’, but wasn’t really satisfied by it. It always felt there was something missing. I did believe in God and would say so to those who asked, but continued the way I always had, with no consideration for the spiritual part of me. I was discontented, quick to anger, and ready to blame when things went wrong
Then I met Ben and, after many years together, we decided to be married. It was during preparation for this that I first became aware of God’s call on my life. We were married in the Catholic Church on Barra.
I had been looking over the marriage ceremony’s words. While I was doing this, it struck me how important and real God’s Word was. This challenged me. It was the first time for a long while that I had really thought about the Lord.
After the excitement of the wedding, I began to think more about the Lord Jesus Christ. I had many conversations with my friend Jenna about God, Jesus and church. These helped me realise that I could call on the Lord and ask him for forgiveness and help to understand what it meant to be a real Christian.
So I began to pray and ask God to help me. I also began listening to sermons on podcast. Little did I know how full an impact the gracious working of our Lord was having at this point. I wasn’t aware how I was changing, as I wasn’t trying to change, but I felt peace and found I didn’t need some of the things I’d relied on in the past.
I often found myself thinking about the Lord. This made me feel calmer and happier in mind and spirit. I began to understand more about God’s Word and realise its relevance to my life.
My children had been asking to go to church and I’d decided that it was my responsibility to encourage their spiritual understanding of God. I went to Penzance Baptist Church and liked it so much that I went as often as possible. The messages were impacting on my heart and the Lord was drawing me to himself.
Strength and comfort
This wasn’t always an easy path though. I experienced a remarkable shift in some people’s attitude towards me. Some were unkind with their words, mocking my belief and questioning why I believed. These times were trying and upsetting. Some days were a real struggle, but not once did I think that knowing God was wrong.
The fellowship at church was a great comfort too. I prayed for strength and comfort and the Lord held me and made me strong enough to explain in the calmest way why I believed.
Knowing and feeling the love of God at this time was an incredible comfort. Over the Easter period, I read a part of the Easter story every night from the Scriptures, as well as using devotionals and reading plans. I was struck with sadness at what Jesus went through to save us from our sins.
I believed for sure that he had died on the cross to save me and had risen again to be with his Father in heaven. For God to have his only Son die for my sake, so that I could live for him, knowing my sins forgiven and trusting in Jesus, is a truly amazing gift.
On Easter Sunday, as I heard the sermon, I had the sudden realisation that I needed to be rescued. I prayed to Jesus for forgiveness for my sin. I asked him to save, strengthen and help me understand his Word and live for him. He answered my prayers.
Since my conversion, the Lord has continued to work in my life. His forgiveness has helped to heal me. I behave differently, seeking to live as his Word commands. God is good and his love is a great thing. His way is perfect, trustworthy and enlightening (Psalm 19:7-8).