I was born in Epsom, surrey in 1968 and was bought up in a children’s home in Penrith, Cumbria from the age of 6-11 due to my mum being ill with thyroid with my brother. it was a great place with plenty of love and care shown to us both there.it was on my last day there that I was given a copy of the authorized version of the bible by Karen who was 1 of the members of staff who cared for me. I also remember 1 day when I was about 7 that I said my 1st prayer to Jesus with a crucifix on my wall and I remember the cross and the prayer making me feel secure as I prayed to Jesus. I also went to church every week but to be honest I found it boring and I didn’t enjoy it or appreciate it at the time.
From the ages of 11-16 life was pretty well devoid of god and pretty darn hard at times at home in Burton in Kendal and I remember also getting depressed being bullied at school because of my autism (aspergers)
I remember getting chucked out the car at 16 in Carnforth as I started my 10 years or so working in the hotel trade. the work was hard stressful and poorly paid although I did live in which was both a burden as they could make me work on my days off and a bonus as I had hardly any expenses at 1stanyways I remember my 1st wage being £15 a week which was back n 1984 for about 40 hours per week. The next year whilst there I joined the youth training scheme which was paid 27.50,then 35.00 the following year and it was then that I started drinking and smoking.
1 day( when I was 18) in the grange high street, whist drunk a lad called Derek asked me if I would like to go to a Christian meeting in grange. he then introduced me to a lad called Phillip who was a strong Christian and I went to house cell group in grange and invited Jesus Christ to be my personal lord and saviour that 1st day. to be honest I felt uneasy at 1st but then the next day I experienced the love of Jesus for the 1st time and everything seemed wonderful being in gods presence. I realised for the 1st time it was the best decision I had ever made! .over the next 9 months or so I grew in my faith and attended either the Emanuel Christian Centre in Ulverston or a Pentecostal church in amble side(or both) every Sunday which Phillip took me too in his car.1 day in particular which I remember is that I was listening to a tape of the Billy Graham crusade in England and I felt convicted by the holy spirit and I felt the love of Jesus and had tears rolling down my eyes. I also felt gods presence at other times during the 9 months or so for example when reading the bible and obeying it, for example willing to be persecuted And talked about for telling others about Jesus (Matthew 5:10,11 )
Between the ages of 19 and 27 I became much less interested or concerned about my relationship with Jesus Christ and it was particularly towards the end of this period that I made a series of unwise, almost fatal choices that destroyed and nearly killed me(or at least nearly brought me to the stage of taking my own life), my dad was also unwell with diabetes and realized he was gong to die as well and I started to feel depressed and trapped in a job that I found stressful and hard to cope with and with a diagnosis and symptoms of a severe, psychotic mental illness, some of which I had since age 16 or so and some brought on by drug dependence as well which I was seeing different professional people about and getting treatment for, in short. I was suicidal, trapped in my own “hell”, totally devoid of gods love and presence
It was during this time that I read Angie Fenimore’s book “beyond the darkness”, her personal testimony of Angie being rescued from hell after committing suicide by overdosing on drugs and being redeemed by the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ and rescued, learning many truths, then being given a second chance and bought back to life, a story of love,redemption and hope. I strongly recommend this beautiful book!
Anyway I was deeply moved after reading this and with tears in my eyes I cried out loud:
“Jesus, please forgive me for everything I have done and save me”
I then, during the next day or so experienced the presence of Jesus in a powerful way and was instantly “set free” and rescued from alcohol and drugs.
I have still suffered greatly at times in the past 13 years or so and suffered pain, hurt, persecution, harassment and rejection but Jesus promises not to take you out of suffering but to be with you through life’s trials. he has been faithful and he has never left me or forsaken me. glory to god!
Mathew 16:24-28 comes to mind as I write this: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom”
In the past 13 years or so, Jesus Christ has rescued me from drugs and alcohol, healed a mouth abscess after i called out to him, cleared £1,500 worth of debt after i obeyed god to contribute to a well known TV ministry, brought very special people into my life with a pilgrimage similar to my own and many other prayers answered. Romans 8:31-38 comes to mind here. May god bless you richly, all glory to god.
I now experience the fellowship, love, joy and presence of the lord everyday. I do have my “mountaintop” and “valley” experiences in my walk with god, but I can honestly say, becoming a Christian is the best decision I have ever made.
I am not alone(by any means) in knowing the amazing intensity of love of Jesus and I am sure that god and Jesus want everybody to know this amazing, intense love that god has for them, god bless you( john 3:16)
I now go to church regularly and i have been a much stronger Christian for the past 13 years or so-glory to god. Jesus Christ is real and living and I strongly urge you to give your life to god, may god richly bless you.