The following is a story shared by Christine during our Local Ministry Team commissioning service on Oct 24th 2021.
We hope it interests and inspires you that God is ever near.
I am Christine, one of the Church Wardens. I work closely with Jill the other Church Warden here at All Saints. We have a great deal to do, especially since Mick our Rector retired earlier this year. I want to tell you my story, and I need to go back a few years, before I first experienced God the Holy Spirit, and was changed forever!
It always surprises me how many people only call on the name of Jesus when they are desperate, and then don't bother with Him again until the next problem occurs. I was thrilled when I found out I was to have another child, my third, at the ripe old age of 40. This was a miracle in itself, because I had had a number of operations and had been told it would be dangerous to have any more children. Nevertheless, I progressed through without any problems. When the time came for the big day I prayed the night before for a ginger headed boy, and as I walked through into the delivery room an amazing sense of peace came over me, it was indescribable. About 7 p.m. that evening I gave birth to a ginger-haired boy. Praise the Lord! We called him Christopher, which I believe means Christ bearer, and he truly was God sent.
Things were going along great with my life - I didn’t pray, why would I? Everything was going along fine. Then, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly died a year later. I want to say though, that at this time although I had prayed, like many people, I didn't really know our Lord, he was still a stranger to me. Shortly after this my life was turned upside down, and I went into a deep depression, I was awful to live with. Thank you Lord I had a wonderful husband who loved me very much. But things got steadily worse, so bad I prepared to kill myself. When I went into the garage to start things up, you know what I mean, thankfully my neighbour came over and talked me out of it. Nevertheless, this went on for four long years. I used to write in my calendar grey week, greyish/black week, and black week, (they were the worst). I was in a dark, dark pit. When Richard came home from work on Friday nights I took to my bed and didn't get up again until Monday morning, apart from visiting the bathroom. That was how things were.
One particularly bad evening I went upstairs and fell to my knees and cried “Lord if you exist take this cup from me.” But slowly, the Holy Spirit was dragging me out of the pit. But Satan didn’t want to let me go. I know now, and believe in my heart, that Jesus had plans for me. When Christopher was about five he started to go to Sunday school. On one particular Sunday, Chris was to receive a badge for his attendances, and I went with him. I had also started to go to the evening service because I had heard that this service was quiet, and the morning service was lively and noisy. During the service there was an appeal for anyone who would like prayer to go forward. I went forward and during these prayers I was anointed with oil, and I gave my life to Jesus, and was born again, into a new life that was going to start for me. Hallelujah. I had a relationship with Jesus and he is always here for me, and He is always there for you if you know him and put your trust in Him!
To sum up I have had a couple of scares since then with cancer and often have prayer with Jim and Jill. And thank goodness Jim is a big strong chap, because he has caught me a few times when I've gone down in the Holy Spirit. Just last month was my 60th wedding anniversary, and I received a lovely card from the Queen. I want to tell you it will be the nearest I get to meeting her, but I know I am going to live with my King forever. Praise God!