I grew up in a loving family, although not a church going family (we went to church only for special occasions). But despite having a loving family I became quite rebellious and decided that I wanted freedom, and as a young adult I began a period of partying. I decided at around this time that I would go travelling and set off, heading for Thailand with a few friends. We were living the dream, partying and chilling, no responsibilities! It seemed so perfect and yet deep down there was already an empty feeling that seemed to be growing. I met my husband whilst there and eventually fell pregnant with our first son. I began to search for something to fill this emptiness and looked into different religions and beliefs. Although many things seemed to make sense initially, nothing really seemed to fill the emptiness.
Our marriage was not a happy one and we had some pretty troubled times. Things got so bad at one point that I decided to leave and came back to Jersey to live. My husband eventually followed me, but things didn’t really improve and he returned to Thailand. I was expecting our second son. I was forced to leave the flat where I was living, as it was being sold. I also found that as I had not been in my job long enough, I had no maternity leave. Life felt pretty tough and I felt as though things were spiraling out of control.
I eventually suffered a nervous breakdown and I was put on anti- depressants. It was at this time that I started to explore the Bible and faith, but I still didn’t understand the concept of grace (God’s un-merited favour for me). I knew that what was in the Bible was real and yet I still struggled, I tried to live by the law of the Bible but felt troubled and uncomfortable—knowing I couldn’t keep God’s standards. I knew that the Bible did not approve of divorce, but did not feel able to go back into an unhappy marriage. I thought carefully about it and decided that I would rather stop following this way and be free from my marriage. At this point I decided that following God wasn’t worth changing the way I lived. Unfortunately, I was left more troubled than ever and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed strange that Jesus went through so much suffering to save me. Why did he need to suffer so much? I continued to read my bible and eventually felt that I needed more answers. I sat on my bed and prayed, asking God to show me the truth. Whilst praying my phone began to ring, it was my friend Tanya from the Baptist church; she was calling to invite me to do a course with her called Christianity Explored. I readily agreed and couldn’t wait to get started.
I started coming to church, and it seemed that each week the talk from the Bible was aimed at me, and was always about marriage! Everytime I picked up the Bible I was left feeling so uncomfortable. I knew that if I were to do things God’s way I should be with my husband, but I also felt that it couldn’t work. I didn’t want to hear these things but each week I came back and would leave in tears. I also knew that by turning away from God that I would face eternal separation from Him. I had got to the stage that I knew and understood that Jesus had died to take the punishment for my sins and that I needed to ask him for forgiveness and to come into my life, and I had begun to pray asking just that. Each week at Christianity Explored I bombarded the leader with questions, sometimes being quite antagonistic. He patiently answered my questions always with “well the Bible says”. He took me to the Greek interlinear translations to help me to clarify any issues that I had. During this time there was one night in particular that I couldn’t sleep and spent a long time in prayer, telling the Lord how I felt. Slowly He began to show me my sin that I had failed to see. I truly believed that I was in the right and my husband in the wrong, but He showed me all of my faults and the ways that I had not behaved as I should have. That night, I knew that if I wanted to be forgiven, I needed to be able to forgive. I also knew that I couldn’t forgive by myself, so I asked for forgiveness, truly accepting all my wrongs and asked that God take away my hate and hurt and fill me with His love for my husband. In that moment I was filled with peace and love. I can’t explain it but, I knew that I had been forgiven. I realized how much God loved me and how much he loved my husband.
I couldn’t wait to tell my husband that I had become a Christian and that we needed to be together. I woke up not only filled with this love but cured of my depression. Life was amazing I had a love for my husband like I’d never had before and couldn’t wait for us to be together again. It was around this time that my mum, having seen the miraculous change in me, wanted to know more and she too took part in the Christianity Explored course and became a Christian. My husband was excited that I had changed and wanted to come back to Jersey and try again but then it suddenly seemed as though he was not so keen. He got a bit upset with me as I was talking nonstop about Jesus and what God had done for me. I felt devastated and confused and thought that I’d got it all wrong. I remember being down on my knees in tears praying, telling God that I thought I was doing what he wanted but it was all going wrong. As I was praying I kept hearing psalm 112, I couldn’t get this out of my head, until I had to stop praying. I didn’t know my Bible very well at that time but went to look up the book of Psalms. When I read the first few verses, which basically said that he who trusts in the Lord will not fear bad news, and that ultimately the Lord would bless them, I knew that this was what God wanted me to do; to go ahead, trusting Him at all costs. I was more careful not to be too over the top and learnt to hold back a little.
My husband came back to Jersey and just as God promised me, things have got so much better. I have been truly blessed, we now have another 2 children and continue to deal with life’s challenges together. I continue on my Christian journey with lots of ups and downs. Life is not pain and trouble free, but now I have Jesus to help me through the difficult times. I have times when I try to face things alone, and then I am drawn back to rely on Jesus, who is there waiting to help and guide me. I now live in the promise and assurance that one day He will return and I will be with Him for eternity.