I was fortunate to have been raised in an actively Christian family, and so - through my friends and activities, too - I was surrounded by many witnesses of faith lived every day.
When I was ten, I attended a concert at our church. At the end, the singer explained the Gospel and I realised that I believed everything he described, and that I must therefore be a Christian already. I went to the front anyway and was prayed for. The next day in P.E. class, I remember feeling my heart “strangely warmed”. I felt like I was flying rather than running!
Through Sunday School, Crusaders youth club (including three overseas short-term trips) and university, I learned much more about God’s love and provision for me (sometimes in some very spectacular ways!), and of my response to Him.
I then felt God leading me to Kenya to work with SIM, which is where I met and married Phil and had our first child, Emma. I worked with Christians in the slums who were reaching out to children at risk (street children, disabled kids) who were shunned by society. This was tremendously fulfilling work, but it also presented me with endless situations through which my faith and character were challenged and refined, and my relationship with Christ deepened.
I could tell you so much more about these things, but a testimony is more than just a spiritual CV. The big question is not what have I done, but who have I become? What difference has Christ made to me?
This is a hard one to imagine - for me at least; while some people describe being saved from drugs, alcohol or a furious temper, I have a less spectacular story, but it’s sincere all the same. I have a gentle and steady personality and my parents gave me good principles and were great examples of faith lived out, so I probably wouldn’t have gone off the rails without Christ!
But does this mean that I needed God less than other people? Certainly not! The more I learn about God and His hopes for me, the more I come to realise how far I am from meeting His expectations. And the more I understand this, the more I see God’s grace in loving and accepting me as I am, and in forgiving my faults and errors of judgment. And I see God patiently loving and prompting me into His likeness, enabling me “not to be conformed to this world” piece by piece. The difference Christ has made in my life is so great that it is stamped throughout me in every tiny part. I simply cannot imagine life without Him.