I was born into a large family – one of seven. None of us went to church. But as far back as I can remember I believed there was a God, although I had no understanding of him.
My lifestyle was very materialistic. My quest for fun and fulfilment revolved around wine-bars and nightclubs. I went through life totally ignorant of the fact that I had a soul that desperately needed a Saviour.
In March 1993 my whole world was turned upside down. My boyfriend was diagnosed with leukaemia. Within a short time, tests and hospital stays became a normal way of life. A dark cloud hung over me from which I felt I couldn’t escape.
I watched helplessly over the following months as, little by little, this cruel disease robbed me of someone so precious to me – in fact someone who was the centre of my world.
By November of that year he was gone, and with him everything I had longed for. I was left cold and empty and unable to cope with the pain and grief.
The following months passed and I just existed. The whole of my being ached. I wanted answers. I wanted comfort. I felt that my heart was about to explode and I wanted the feeling to go away.
All of this time, the Lord was showing me my need of him, and drawing me gently to himself. But I, a helpless sinner, had no idea of it.
In the autumn of the following year I was in Dudley town centre, a place I rarely visited. My heart and mind were weighed down more than ever with grief and desperation.
As I walked through the town I was approached by an elderly gentleman. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was working alongside the Open Air Meeting of Dudley Baptist Church.
I tried to avoid him. But he was relentless in his pursuit, so I decided out of politeness to give him a few moments of my time. How this makes me smile now as, looking back, I see it was God working out his wonderful plan and purpose for me.
Abundance of love
The man spoke with great gentleness about someone he called his Saviour. He said that this Lord Jesus had an abundance of love and forgiveness for anyone who would come to him – that he had come to save sinners (like me).
Something touched my heart, and as I walked away tears ran down my face. As yet, I didn’t know why.
The following day was Sunday. I had promised the gentleman that I would go to his church. But as I sat outside in my car, I was looking for reasons not to go in.
But now there was a longing in me to hear more about this Jesus. I attended for the following few weeks, being made to feel more and more uncomfortable about myself.
As I sat in the pew on the evening of 20 November 1994, for the first time ever I became aware in my heart what a sinner really was. I believed on Jesus Christ to be my Saviour and my Lord.
No words could ever describe the love, warmth and forgiveness that flooded into my heart. That night I became a sinner saved by God’s grace alone and I praise him that he has kept me ever since.