I came back to St Mary’s 6 years ago after coming here as a child. I was healed from post-natal depression and God picked up where I had left off 16 years before – so when I returned here, I wasn’t just coming back to church, I was coming back to God. A realisation hit me that I had been asleep and spiritually dead for a long time! Growing up I was taught the story of Jesus’ crucifixion but I didn’t have the relationship with God to realise why he did it and why he had to rise from the dead. When that piece of information sunk in it really felt like a light bulb went on over my head. I was alive in Christ, I was loved and forgiven by God and that is good news.
As a prolific reader, I read the Bible and many other books about Jesus and I learned about spiritual gifts. In 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul says “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy”. God was giving me pictures, dreams and verses from Scripture and I was growing in the knowledge that He does this to encourage His people. Soon enough as I prayed for situations, God would give me the right words to speak into peoples lives. At the time and more recently some of my non-Christian friends thought I was bonkers for giving people words of knowledge in Costa, on Loughton High Road and in Morrisons! When I went to Sweden last year with Malcolm, Luke and Sylvia I was completely in God’s hands. Any unbelief that I didn’t actually hear from God, that I wasn’t good enough was going to make a mistake was firmly put behind me by the Lord. When you are praying for people who speak a different language to you, there is only one way to go – Father God. One lady came up for prayer but she was skeptical about words of knowledge and prophecy so she just said “I don’t want to say what’s wrong with me, so can you just pray”. When I started speaking to her, the expression and tears running down her face clearly told me that what God was saying to her was having an impact on her. She just kept saying ‘Thank you Jesus’ and sat down. A few months later the Vicar from Sweden told me that she had asked him to tell me that God had healed her.
Sometimes I look back and think I wish I had come back to God sooner, because there is so much to do for the Kingdom of God. But at the very beginning of my journey with him, He gave me Psalm 37:5
"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noon day sun."
This scripture is about committing to, and trusting God’s plan, his timing and that he will never give up on us, even when we veer off the path he chose for us, he patiently waits for us to hear his voice and get back to where he wants us to be.