For about 20 years or so I thought I was a Christian. But looking back now I know that I wasn’t. As a teenager I went to a young peoples club where we played games went on outings and had a short talk about God. At this point of the evening I always turned off. When I was 16, I saw a change in my cousin and other young people in the church when they became Christians I wanted to be like them. I asked God to forgive my sins and make me a Christian. I thought that that was it, I had no idea of what it meant to have my sins forgiven and had no sorrow for them. I didn’t think that I was that bad. I did my best to be a good person read my bible and went to church, because I thought that that was the right thing to do. When I was 18 I got baptised with the other young people, All this time I thought that I was a Christian.
I married Paul later that year and moved to Handsworth in Birmingham. After seven years we moved to live in Chelmsley wood and started to attend Chelmsley Wood Reformed Baptist Church by this time I had stopped reading my Bible and stopped praying. From time to time Alec the pastor would say something in his sermons that pricked my conscience, I began to wonder if I was really saved or not. I didn’t want to face it so I pushed it to the back of my mind. But deep down I knew that I was not a Christian.
In September 2003, I was ill with blood clots in my lungs. I became very depressed and for the first time I had to face the fact that one-day I was going to die. Around October 2004, I was so depressed that I started to see a counsellor and psychiatrist I also began to read the Psalms. I might as well have been reading a dictionary because nothing went in.
In February 2005, I went into hospital for the 3rd time with the blood clots and the fact that I could die anytime really scared me. This is when I started to seek God. I wanted to know Him but I couldn’t see how.
In May As I read the Psalms God started to show me that He is a holy God and will not even look on sin. He would one-day judge sin with eternal torment and that one-day I would have to give an account of myself to Him.
I started to read my Bible more and more. I even began to take it to work with me to read. One night I forgot to take my Bible to work. It was a very quiet night and I was bored so I started to look on the Internet. I saw a site with sermons on and I down loaded ‘The sinner in the hands of an angry God,’ by Jonathan Edwards. Here he gives a picture of the sinner dangling from a piece of spiders web above the mouth of hell and the only thing keeping the sinner from falling into hells fire is the hand of God. And when He decides to let go there is nothing man can do about it. This scared me so much that when I read it I began to shake physically. When I finished reading I went into my office where nobody goes and prayed like I had never prayed before. That God would forgive me and not let me go.
As the days went by I began to see the enormity of my sin even things that I had forgotten about began to haunt me. All I could hear was the word condemned I knew that I deserved God judgement and pleaded with Him to forgive me.
As I read the psalms they seemed to be talking about the salvation of God. I remember reading Psalm 103 verses 3 & 4 ‘God who forgives all your iniquities heals all your diseases Who redeems your life from destruction.’ I was quite taken back by it and had to read it many times. I kept asking God to forgive me and to save me but I couldn’t see how He could because of all the years of pretending and bringing dishonour to Him. I felt that I need proof that he had.
Almost every day some how or other God spoke to me about his salvation, and I would plead with him for forgiveness. At this time I noticed that the depression had lifted but thought nothing of it.
On the 14th July I read a book by Spurgeon called ‘Faith what is it’. I couldn’t put it down. He talked about the reasons why people cannot believe that God can forgive them using the text ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’. I put my reasons in the places he gave like “but I have done such and such”. His answer was, “Yes, but Jesus died for sinners, believe on him”. But. “I have pretended, I have been a hypocrite for so long.” His answer was, “Christ died for such people believe”. “I have brought dishonour to His Name” and the answer came. “You are a sinner. Christ died for sinners, believe on Christ”. “I don’t feel that he has forgiven me”, and His answer was that you do not have to feel anything, just believe. Then, all of a sudden, I could see that all God required of me was to believe on Christ and that He has taken the penalty of my sin. That is all there is to it! It was as if a blind fold had been taken off. Once more I prayed that God would forgive me for all my sins and this time I knew that He had.
The next day I had an appointment with the psychiatrist and she could see that something had happened so she asked me. And I told her that I had become a Christian and that I know that all my sins had been forgiven through Jesus Christ when he died on the cross. All the guilt of the past and the fear of death has gone, because I knew that when I die I will be with be with him forever. She wanted to know more so I told her that when Christ died He took all my sin, He bore my guilt and suffered the wrath of God, which I deserved. I told her that not only has he taken my sin away but also He has given me His righteousness, so that when God sees me now He sees me as perfect. I think she thought I had completely lost it.
Since becoming a Christian things haven’t been easy. In October my father became very ill with cancer and was told that he did not have long to live. I was extremely upset but I knew that God was in complete control and, although it was a very difficult time for me, I was comforted by this. I do not know how I would have coped without Gods help. He gave me the strength each day to sit with dad and talk to him about his need for salvation. Dad died 10 days later. God was so close to me at that time I knew His love and strength. It was him that got me though each day.
February 2006 I was taken into hospital again with another blood clot on my lung. I was in a lot of pain and found it hard to breathe at times. The doctors were baffled as to why I keep getting these blood clots. They kept saying that I am lucky to have survived so many but I know that luck has nothing to do with it. The fear of death had completely gone. I knew that if I did die I would be going home to be with my heavenly Father and I would see Christ face to face. I had nothing to fear but everything to look forward to.
Days when I am in a lot of pain and wonder how long I can go on like this, the Lord reminds me that He has a purpose in all this and that He loves me. He knows all about the pain, all the uncertainties of my condition. He will give me the strength to get through each day. God is teaching me to trust Him more and to let go of the things of this world.
I find it mind blowing that the Creator God came to earth as a helpless baby; grew up and allowed Him to be nailed to a cross for me to take the wrath of God that I deserved. I cannot date the day of my conversion; it was probably sometime in July 2006. However, one thing I do know is that Christ died for sinners, and that includes me.
I see my sin differently now. Before it did not really bother me too much, as long as nobody got hurt or upset. But now, knowing how much it cost the Holy Son of God to take away my sin by taking on Himself my curse, I do not want to do it anymore. But it is a constant struggle.
God is teaching me so much through reading his word. It is as if I am reading a completely different book. All of a sudden the Bible makes sense. I love to read his word. Times when I am feeling down God’s Word encourages me, reminding me of what He has done for me. He chose me before He made the world. Not because of anything that I had done or anything I am going to do, but because He chose to choose me.
Sometimes I wonder why did God chose me there are so many people better than I am, but I am so grateful that He did.