Showing God at work in people's lives.
Until the age of 26 years I was an evangelistic atheist and wanted nothing to do with God; I believed He did not exist.
However, I became friendly with a Christian couple in whom I found acceptance and a sense of belonging. For a year I questioned and often argued with them about their faith, until one night in October 1996 they had had enough. They asked why I was so angry with God, what I held against him.
I told them how, as a 7 year old child we had experienced a house fire, during which my brothers, Tony, 11 years old and David, 3 years old, had been killed. Tony survived for five days with 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body. I thought that if a loving god could allow that to happen then he wasn’t much of a god and so became an atheist.
Soon after, my parents divorced and I ended up living with my dad and step mum. Things were hard, I can’t remember many days where I wasn’t beaten for something, or often nothing. Periodically I would suffer with depression, feelings of guilt and anger. I would become suicidal.
I drank heavily, got into fights and slept around, eventually getting into trouble with the police; that calmed me down a lot.
At the age of 24 years I had a serious breakdown and lost my job. I was finally diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I found a new job and was sent to Japan for 3 months for training. Whilst there my partner became a Christian. I arrived home to a different person and I didn’t react very well. Every time she went to church I would start a fight, but unknown to me, five churches were praying for me.
I met some of her newfound friends; one couple were really nice. For 6 months I visited them, questioning them about their faith and often arguing with them - they had the patience of a saint with me.
One night Keith, the husband, asked what I held against God and for 5 hours I poured out my heart, re-telling all I’d experienced. Until that night, no-one had ever been concerned for me, yet here, he cried as I told my story.
As I ended my story, he asked if he could pray for me. I agreed and he asked the Lord to give me peace.
To my shock that prayer was answered, and I was filled with a deep sense of peace, something I had never felt before.
For the first time I knew that there must be someone there who is able to answer prayers, I could no longer be an atheist and that night I became a follower of Christ.
Oh how I’d love to tell you things turned out well, but I can’t. My partner left, I met someone else and we got married and several years later we got divorced. I’m now remarried.
Jesus never said that He would make life a bed of roses. He did promise that He would never leave us or forsake us. Over the years since I accepted Him as my Lord that has proved the case time and again.
I have never been on my own, no matter what life has thrown at me.
Change Of Perspective by Cassie Murdock
Emotions crash like waves, flowing endlessly on,
Those wonderful days, are they truly gone?
Wistfully, you stare at those gloomy clouds above;
The sun peeks through, blinding, as bright as a dove.
Suddenly your soul is nourished, your heart is fed;
You gain motivation to get out of bed.
You pick up a writing pad and write using ink
Enlightening words without having to think.
As natural as breathing, the words roll on;
You begin to notice your uncertainty is gone.
That knot of fear once lodged within your mind
Is starting to unravel, you begin to find.
Take this difficult time to find your true inner peace.
Your isolating days should then pass by with ease.
Your community is with you, but they need you too!
But if we pick each other up, we’ll all pull through…