I was born into a home that was loving, kind and caring. My Dad had his own business and my Mom was a secretary for a local business, we had a good life, even when Dad lost the business he managed to find a good job that paid well, we had nice things and a lovely home. I always remember the day he came home with a new TV, it was around the time the infrared remote control was introduced, I was well happy with that!
Disaster struck at Christmas time, Father Christmas had been and gone and so had Dad. I was 8 years old, I don’t remember much but I do remember the day he came back to tell me that he and Mom were separating, it was awful. Once he’d broken the news he collected some of his belongings and left. Mom was broken, she chased after him tears streaming from her face, kicking and screaming, the anger was so intense, so much so when she came back into the house I picked up Dad’s favourite beer tankard and threw it across the paved patio out of the back door, I dropped to my knees and sobbed like never before. It was just me and Mom from now on.
It wasn’t long before Mom met someone else, and there were 2 weddings to attend, My Dad was marrying his girlfriend and my Mom the guy that came from nowhere and swept her off her feet, well kind of! At 9 years old I remember the feeling of loss, I felt so alone, all around me I could see happiness, joy, belonging, laughter and there was me, alone with my bears in my room.
I don’t know why I felt so alone, it’s not like I was pushed out, I just didn’t feel like I belonged in either my Mom’s home or my Dad’s. They were all so happy with one another, I just felt like an inconvenience to them, Dad had his new wife and her daughter that he loved, Mom had her new husband that she so desperately wanted to keep happy, and there was just me drifting along.
Looking back now I think I was depressed, and withdrawn, I pulled myself away from people in order to create a wall of protection, that way I would never get hurt.
I found peace in books, I‘d shut myself away in my room, line up all of my teddies and read to them, my favourites were the scripts from Roal Dahl stories, I would act out all the different characters in lots of different voices, It was my way of escaping myself, I just hated being me.
I was around 12 or 13 and left at home alone a lot, I remember that I would walk around the house acting out my desired life. I would pretend I was a wife, the house was mine and I had a loving husband and 3 children, I’d speak aloud to them, anyone listening in would have thought I was crazy!
This escapism carried on throughout my life, books turned to other things I used to escape, people pleasing, taking drugs, drinking, lots of things that sent me down a path of darkness, discovering much more grief, sadness, anger, loss, and dismay.
Things did get better over time and I grew out of the drugs and drinking and finally at the age of 29 I met my husband and we had our children. It took a few more years and I met someone that totally changed my life, and showed me why things always seem to get better. Jesus.
We’d been going to church for a while and I’d had many encounters and deep moments of joy with Jesus but nothing in comparison to what I was about to experience at Cherish.
I walked through the doors of the arena and instantly felt the overwhelming presence of the most unexplainable love I’ve ever felt! The tears began to well up inside me and with each step forward another would roll down my face.
I found my seat and the music began to play and I felt God’s arms lift me up onto His lap, I felt the warmth of His arms wrapped tightly around me I was 8 years old again and He whispered into my ear:
“I love you, you are the most precious princess of the highest king, you are special and I will never let you go, all these years of misery are behind you, I will replace them with years of joy, I am taking you on a journey that will never end, take my hand and walk with me my precious child, I will make up for the years of the locusts, all they took from you I will replace double”
That weekend was one of the most amazing experiences I had with God, I knew after then life was going to be different, He was with me and He was never ever going to forsake me.
I’m pleased to say that my life now is still as eventful but a different type of life. Now, I have joy, peace and I don’t fear every circumstance, I don’t feel the need to escape anymore, I don’t have to please people to be accepted, I now have someone in my life that truly makes me feel I belong, He carries me, He comforts me, He whispers into my ear all of the wonderful things I can be, He makes me feel I can achieve anything in His strength and encourages me when I fall.
I also have the husband and 3 kids I used to imagine!
I pray that anyone reading this has a similar experience, with an open heart invite Him to show you all that you are. I watched a film at the weekend called Miracles from Heaven, if you’ve not seen it I recommend it, in it a lady says this “God gives us miracles each and every day, they are all around us, we just have to have the faith to notice them.” She’s right, I see my loving Father in everything I do now, I’m so thankful to Jesus for this wonderful gift, ask Him to show you too, he will never let you down.