Testimony for DBC
I wanted to share a little of what has been happening in my life over the last 18 months. I know for many of you ‘lockdown’ has been a really difficult time and perhaps still is.
My ‘lockdown’ has been a time of rekindling my love and friendship with God. I hope by sharing my story it may encourage you to share your joys and sad times with each other. I am not good at reciting verses and text but I believe Paul encourages us to bear each other’s burden. It can be a real blessing when other people come alongside you and pray with or for you.
Most of you know that I have been a Christian for a very long time. My faith journey like many others has been up and down. Some really high points and some low points. You probably won’t know that I was at a very low point spiritually for a number of years.
Over the years, I had had a really busy church life, slotting into many roles. Teaching various age groups, Leadership, Catering, Cleaning, and Youthwork.
I retired from a very demanding and fulfilling nursing career which I loved some years ago. I had expected my retirement to be as satisfying as my working life. It wasn’t.
I kept myself quite busy with all sorts of hobbies and activities and some church jobs. I went through the motions of coming to church, joining into some groups but my heart wasn’t in it. There was an emptiness there.
I was becoming more and more critical. “The preaching and teaching wasn’t right”. The Worship did nothing for me. When I went through for coffee I felt so alone. You may have felt like this too. I would look around and everybody seemed so engaged in their conversations. Being alone in a crowd can be worse than being on your own. I was getting nothing out of Church. If you had asked me how I was, I would have probably have said OK, but I wasn’t OK. I hated the way I felt. I was unhappy inside.
I had heard about a course in Sheffield called GOING DEEPER WITH JESUS. I forced myself to enrol on it. I was looking for a purpose, inspiration, hoping to find a plan for my latter years.
The course wasn’t easy. There was a big time commitment on my part. It required two full days in Sheffield starting early and one evening each week. Lots of reading and Bible study. It took lots of discipline on my part. The Bible teaching was good, we had prayer and worship twice a week either live or on Zoom. We were encouraged to go out into the community and pray for our neighbours. We shared what God was doing in our lives and what He was saying to us.
You know, nobody since the days when John Hadcocks was my Deacon has anybody asked, what God was saying or doing in my life. You can’t relate what God is saying to you unless you are listening. Listening involves spending time with the father. You all know the story of Mary and Martha (in Luke chapter 10). Such an important story.
So after a lot of Soul searching, I felt the Father was telling me to be more like Mary and sit at Jesus feet. Soaking in his love. He didn’t require me to do another job, I didn’t need another role for me to be fulfilled or fit in. First and foremost, He really loved me just as I am. He wanted to spend time with me and I was to spend much more time in his presence.
I had to do a lot of repenting. Church wasn’t about ME.
I WAS THERE TO WORSHIP MY GOD, MY SAVIOUR AND LORD.
I WAS THERE TO GIVE THANKS FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR ME.
I WAS THERE TO SHARE HIS ABUNDANT LOVE SO FREELY GIVEN TO ME.
So happily today I am through that dark tunnel, content and at peace with myself.
I am going to throw out a challenge to Andy and the Leadership and ask them to check up on us, from time to time, asking us individually where we are with God, what is he saying to us, and perhaps occasionally we could ask each other “what is God saying or doing in your life”. You might be really surprised at some of the conversations you will have.