Pam Wild found her troubled life turned around by God when both she and her husband became Christians.
I had been married for three years when in December 1999 my husband Richard walked out, leaving me with our two-year-old son, Daniel. I had thought my life was OK. I was no angel, but not particularly bad either.
I drank far too much (though I wouldn’t admit it). I was selfish, jealous and had many other unattractive qualities. But I got by, and my marriage and family life seemed OK.
I was shocked and devastated when Richard left. I was angry, bitter, resentful and full of different emotions, but I knew I had to keep myself together for Daniel’s sake.
I found support from my family and health visitors, got myself a good job, and my life was looking up again. However, I still had a lot of contact with Richard, and we seemed to be getting on better apart.
Then, one day, he came to me grinning like a Cheshire cat and told me he had become a Christian – born again with a new life. I thought this was rich, coming from someone who had never believed in God. But he was obviously genuine.
Even more staggering, he wanted to come back and be a family again. I agreed, feeling we owed it to Daniel.
I was happy to accept Richard’s new faith, but when people said to me, ‘it will be you next’, I said: ‘No it won’t. It’s fine for him, if that’s what he wants, but it’s not for me’.
The ‘love bit’
Life was OK again, but Richard still seemed unsettled. I was terrified at the thought that he had come back into our lives only to wreck them again.
It was this fear that led me to speak to a minister at the church that Richard now attended. I wanted to discuss the situation, and perhaps get the church ‘on my side’.
I started to read Richard’s Bible to see what it had to say about love and marriage. I was delighted to find it had references in the front for help and guidance on life’s problems.
There were sections on love and marriage, but it was the love bit that I wanted to read about most. I found that 1 Corinthians 13 described the kind of love that I wanted.
What I hadn’t expected, or intended, was happening.
I was given a book called Seeking God and read it along with the Bible. For the first time in my life (as a less than enthusiastic reader) I couldn’t put either down. I discovered that the Bible was interesting and relevant.
I had always said I believed in God, but I didn’t realise the difference between believing Jesus existed and knowing him personally.
Life was changing
As I continued to think about these things, my life seemed to be changing. I began to feel satisfied at last.
I didn’t need alcohol any more to cheer me up or calm me down. I was also beginning to realise how selfish I had been – how my behaviour had hurt other people and what pressure and pain I had caused Richard. I felt disgusted with myself.
Richard said I should pray to God for forgiveness as he had done. I understood that God had sent his own Son to die on the cross for my sin, and that he would forgive anyone who trusted in him.
But I was frightened that, if nothing happened, I would feel rejected by God. Eventually, however, I prayed with all my heart, and asked God to forgive me for everything I had done. I felt a sense of peace.
Contentment and faith
The next morning (which was Sunday) I wanted to go to church. For the first time in my life, I was early getting ready.
I was so excited I hopped, skipped and jumped to Pontefract Congregational Church. As the minister spoke, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude, contentment and faith.
I couldn’t stop crying when I thought that Jesus had lived a sinless life and yet had died such a horrific death for my sins.
Jesus has saved me and turned my life around, and filled me with such inner peace and happiness. God really has answered prayer, which is reflected in our marriage. I have a loving husband, and Daniel and Joshua are growing up in a loving environment and peaceful house.
We have a great family unit, full of love. We also have a new family – our church family – which has been such a help and strength to us over the past two years.
I now put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, not the temporary things of this world. Only by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ can we be truly changed and happy.