My Testimony I thought a good place to start with my page would be with my testimony so here goes… When I was a child, I went to Sunday school and had some Christian books and as I grew up, I was aware of God as someone who was just there. I never really doubted there was a God, but I was not in a relationship with Him. After many years away from the church I returned and I felt good after the service, however, my faith practice did not extend past Sunday. Many years later I began to read the Bible. I had no need to search for one as a simple stretch of my arm found my dust laden book in pride of place on my bedside table. How thought provoking to look back and think of all the years my Bible sat there untouched, yet it was never hidden away in a cupboard or given to charity. Was God begging me to pick it up all those years I struggled without Him? Letting me know every day that He was there waiting for me? So, picking up my Bible I begin with Genesis and the next day I read some more and the next then life happens, single mum with 3 little boys who won’t go to sleep and I am lucky to make my bed before sleep is upon me only to be woken through the night by a procession of little feet coming along the hall. Hanging off the end of my bed or sleeping sideways with a toddler face directly in mine I wake, and another day begins. Months later I return to my Bible and I have to start at the beginning again and this record plays again and again over the years. Without God and going through many troubles alone I found myself very lost. My mental health suffered greatly, and I rooted in a place of darkness and it was there in a pit of utter despair that God found me and I met God for the first time. In desperation I cried out to Him to save me from a rut I had found myself in and in all his glory He did. Now I had no doubt that there was a God. Surprisingly at this point I still did not seem to understand the need to get to know Him. And life meandered on. Then I met my husband Craig, a Christian from childhood, and I developed a thirst to find out more. I read the Bible in less than 3 months and began finding out more about the Apostle Paul. He, then as now, fascinated me in his transformation and his ability to suffer so greatly for Christ. Once I had read books of him and studied his travels I wanted more. I began summarising the books of the Bible and finding out a little more about them all. Still I wanted more so I enrolled in an Access to Christian Theology Course with HTC and relished every moment of it. Understanding Jesus that bit better aided my prayer life and I accepted Jesus into my heart. Now I have no idea the day, the month, or quite frankly, the year but I would estimate around 3 or 4 years ago. Previous to this I would have identified as a Christian because I occasionally went to church, took communion once or twice a year and believed there was a God. I had never been taught the need to invite Jesus into my life, the need to understand basic doctrine or the need for a relationship with God. I was fooling myself. I was placing myself as bride of Christ and He did not “know” me. Now when I gave my heart to Jesus there was no lightning from the sky, there was no audible voice from heaven, the ground did not shake, I did not have heat or tingles pass through my body … nothing happened. I did not feel the Holy Spirit enter me and to this day I have experienced none of the glorious manifestations of the Spirit that many claim to have experienced. I will admit I have struggled with this. I have doubted that I am saved, that I am truly a child of God. Yet, I am different. I am not the person I was before. I have an ability to forgive that surpasses human ability. I have the capacity to love which surpasses all human ability. I can withstand all heartache that surpasses human ability. This is how I know that I am a daughter of Christ and sister to all those in the church of God. I am now studying a Theology Degree and I could not enjoy it more. I sign up to Bible Studies and courses that I see, I read mostly Christian material as has been the case for approximately 4 years and I revel in it all. I hope that my testimony will help others understand that Christianity is not a set of rules and regulations, nor a one size fits all faith. Each one of us will follow a different path on our journey with Christ and as I journey along mine sometimes at great speed, sometimes sliding backwards, and as I am being completely frank sometimes taking the wrong turn off, sitting in a traffic jam 20 miles long, before meandering along a one way path to nowhere, getting a puncture, no signal on phone, walking to nearest garage 20 miles away before finally returning to the road of righteousness a month later. As you can see the journey is not an easy one, in fact it is far more difficult than the many other roads one can choose. The road of righteousness is littered with potholes, frequented by floods and narrow are the tunnels, however, this road is the only one on which you have an on board sat nav guiding you every step of the way and this sat nav does not break down or make mistakes, this sat nav knows every roundabout, every turn off, every roadwork and though you in your foolishness will make wrong turn offs this sat nav will always guide you back. Blessings to all. Louise

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