From very soon after I was born I was taken along to church with my parents and this is where I came to hear about God and his love for me. My parents are both Christians, my Mum often leads worship at their local church in Grimsby and my Dad is a Methodist local preacher in the area. They have both set a really good example to me throughout my life. My parents didn’t christen me as a baby, so that the option to get baptised would be mine. I became a Christian as a 9 year old at a horse riding Christian holiday camp in the summer holidays. While I can’t remember the exact message of the evening’s camp meeting which lead me to making the decision I remember being prayed for by a couple of the camp leaders and the emotional release which followed this, feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and crying for hours with tears of joy.
Since then I have tried many times to take my life into my own hands and walk my own way. There have been times in my life where I have got things completely wrong and there have been times when I haven’t acknowledged God but he has stayed with me through all of them, he has never turned his back on me. I know I can’t be certain of the future but I can be certain of God’s faithfulness and love. My walk through life has been full of mistakes, there have definitely been a few low points but it is the knowledge that God is there and he will never leave me despite my mistakes which has lead me to this point.
The reality of God’s guidance in my life has often really surprised me. God lead me to take the direction of being a teacher after I sat next to a lady at church. As part of the service she had prayed for me very accurately about the unhappiness, exhaustion and uncertainty I was experiencing with balancing being an office temp with another job. She turned out to be a teacher and she asked whether I would be interested in work experience at her school. God really made things happen for me following this event and lead me to a job I never would have picked for myself. God knew that it would work out really well for me.
Without God I don’t think that I would have been able to make the necessary changes to my life, it was very apparent to me that God was leading me through all of it. God really made such a difference to my life over that year and completely removed me from the unhappiness and uncertainty I had felt before.
I know as well there are things that God is currently working on in my life, my capacity to worry for instance! Some of you are familiar with that! I believe that God continues to lead me in faith so that I will grow to trust in him more. I know he is with me.
Daily God captures my attention with the beauty I see in things around me. As an Artist I see God’s splendour in the mountains and beauty in the skies. I find this world amazing and fascinating: the intricacies of veins in a leaf, the beautiful way that light sparkles on water, the quietness of the snow falling, the miracle of birth. I have lots of questions too, I don’t understand everything but I have come to accept that God is far bigger than me and really, really clever, so if he did make this place I am bound not to understand it all! I am amazed that in this vast and incredible universe God even sees me, but I believe he does.
Some people wonder: where is God? I have found him everywhere, he never leaves me.
Psalm 139:7-11 helps describe what I have experienced, it says:
Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
The reason I am getting baptised because I know there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or to be fully accepted by him as a person. There is nothing I can do to make him love me less and I know he’ll never leave me. He is with me and accepts me and loves me as I am because I acknowledge the blood that was shed on the cross, which was payment in full.