1 Corinthians 13:4-7
‘Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’
This is a very special verse, it was read out on our wedding day by my mother in law. I wasn’t a christian when I got married, but even so, I loved the words, and thought they were beautiful.
I wasn’t brought up in a christian family. Since the age of 10 I believed in God but I didn’t know about Jesus, and didn’t know what it meant to make a commitment to Him. I didn’t understand the sacrifice God had made for us, or the unconditional love that God gives us. I didn’t know that I could have a relationship with Jesus.
I didn’t know that when you give your life to Jesus he lives within you through the holy spirit every single day. My life was about to change in a powerful way because of Jesus, because of the resurrection, because of the privilege of being blessed with the spirit of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
I was given a New Testament by a Gideon when I first started secondary school. I can remember feeling that it was very special, I used to read it in my bedroom, I was intrigued.
We didn’t talk about God in my family, however I do remember one occasion when I asked my mum if she and dad believed in God and she said no, but she would never have told me that I couldn’t.
I continued to read my bible in my bedroom and pray little prayers, being a young girl, it was usually a prayer for something I desperately wanted, like to go to a friends party or something! It was prayer that really got me thinking, because each time I did pray, God would answer.
When I met Dan, (now my husband), that was when I really started to talk about God. Dan was much more knowledgeable and had a greater understanding coming from a christian family, so answered my questions.
Although at this point I still didn’t fully understand what it was to be a christian, I felt that I was getting a little closer. It was when we made the move to North Wales, 5 years ago, our lives changed, and my faith went from one extreme to the next in a very short space of time.
We started to attend a local church in November 2015, and at first it was difficult for me to settle, I’d find the service powerful, and a lot to take in, and wasn’t used to the fellowship, so I’d usually have to leave straight after the service. I know that might sound strange, but it was all a bit intense for me to begin with. I can remember asking God, ‘where do I go from here?’, and knew it was one way or the other. It was then that I knew I had a choice to make.
Not long after attending church I began to experience difficulties at home. The consequences of moving 5 hours away from family and friends, starting a new life in North Wales, not really having any close friendships and staying at home with the children started to effect me. Being a mum became very challenging, but I didn’t ever think that I would be challenged in the way I was. I’d always taken on challenges in the past, and thrived off them, but I began to struggle. I lost all my confidence, and felt worthless. I didn’t know who I was anymore, I had, like many mothers, lost my identity. I reached a very low point, became depressed, and it was at this point that I realised that I needed help. I realised I couldn’t live this life on my own anymore, I needed Jesus.
I remember sitting on the floor in the living room one evening, feeling physically paralysed, I didn’t want the children around me, I didn’t want anyone to touch me, I couldn’t lift my head, then, my husband compassionately said to me ‘go and speak to God’. My intention was to get away from everything and lie down in bed and try to pray, little did I know that I wasn’t going to just pray to God, but I was going to breakdown, reach out and ask Jesus to take my life into his hands, I knew I couldn’t get through without him, and very unexpectedly I gave my life to Jesus. The Lord spoke to me and said ‘wipe away your tears, wipe away your tears, I am here.’
After, I felt so much closer to God, and stronger, but it didn’t take long for me to start feeling weak again and the struggles in motherhood continued. Then one night, I had a dream, where I moved into a house and there were lots of bible verses on the walls and ornaments of Jesus, it was a godly house, and I started to tear them all down and said ‘I just want to make this house a home!’. When I woke up, I realised that this was exactly what I was doing, removing God from our home, again, the realisation that I couldn’t live my life without Jesus in it literally hit home.
I didn’t want my life to continue without prioritising God, at that point I was determined to change, not just my life but the whole family’s, and make sure that I was going to build my home with God firmly in place, and stop tearing it down. The proverb ‘a wise woman builds her house and with her bare hands an unwise tears it down’ is very significant to me and is with me everyday as a reminder.
It was at this point that I realised that it wasn’t just about giving yourself to Jesus, but repentance. Asking Jesus to forgive me. Listening to Him. Letting Him guide me through my life, through my pathway that He has planned for me, having a true relationship with Jesus, and allowing Him to show me how to grow and become closer to Him each day.
It is also thanking Jesus for the pain and suffering that he endured, so that we can have our sins taken away and live in freedom, something that no matter how much suffering we go through, we’ll never understand in comparison.
I realised that the more I pray, the more communication and guidance I can receive from our Father, the stronger the relationship I can have with Him. Even through our trials we can be blessed, and I know now that with God I am a new creation.
I have been able to use the experiences I have been through to encourage in motherhood and family life with faithful steps. It is important to me that we encourage one another and remember that we don’t have to go through the trials we face on our own.
You can read more about the hope we can have in Jesus here.
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