When I was asked to do this piece, I felt a bit of a fraud. I have read, with interest, the contributions from others and my own seems small and unworthy in comparison; but one thing I have learnt since coming to Greetham is we are all worthy and if God asks, you are required to give what you have in your hand and he will do the rest.
I was brought up in Huddersfield and sent to Sunday school although neither of my parents attended church. I was confirmed at 11 or so and by 13 had my doubts about war and disaster and stopped going to church. By the time I was in my early 30's I had turned my back on religion entirely to the point where I wouldn't say the Lord's Prayer if I happened to be in church, I was selfish, materialistic, driven to succeed in the world and lonely. Amazingly, given what I have just said, I fell in love and married Simon, in church, more his idea than mine, but will admit to a strange feeling when the vicar blessed us, but nothing more.
A few months later I was in a very stressful situation with my work, lots of tears and anxiety and God spoke to me and clearly told me what to do. It was very weird at the time but I know it to be true and my earthly life took a new path although my spiritual one was still dry.
The next step was the miracle of childbirth and the love for my child - this had to be more than biology!
God put Christian friends in my path and a great vicar and I started to go to church regularly and started to do good things for people, but I still hadn't committed to Christ.
A move of house and a new church. Here I got involved in children's activities and made more Christian friends but felt myself to be on the fringe. I did not pray regularly, or read my Bible much, but I was involved. I was coerced into cooking for an Alpha course and then I was on the Alpha course and then I opened up - lots of tears. The shared communion on the Alpha away day was a big spiritual moment for me. We invited the Holy Spirit in and I felt a flood of warm power through me but with the words - not yet.
Another change of town and a new church - We moved on a Thursday and I promised myself I would go to the church on the hill on Sunday; the next Sunday I was robed and singing in the choir. I loved my 12 years singing at Danbury, but I lost a bit of spirituality, but my younger daughter, Rachel, was gaining in hers and she taught me much. She really understood coming to Christ, the debt that was paid for each and every one of us when He died on the cross; that we are broken and are not required to be perfect; that we give what we have; that we pray and read our Bibles daily; that we walk with God.
Then the big spiritual leap happened when I came to Greetham. I feel I have come so far in the last 2 years and I am so grateful for the Christian friends I have made in this remarkable place. I love singing with the worship band and, at times feel filled with the Holy Spirit. Going to 8am prayers at Greetham is also replenishing for me, as is house group. I know the Lord has a plan for me, but I feel he is happy with what I am doing just now - I am waiting for the Lord (Psalm 27) and in the meantime I will sing and keep myself busy.