‘Here I am’
I was introduced to church and the Christian faith when I first started dating Ruth. At the time I was sceptical but the faith of Ruth and her family intrigued me. Initially I had a good excuse to not go to church as I played Sunday league football; however, after a couple of months I fractured my ankle so I could no longer play. This freed up my Sunday mornings so after some prolonged persuasion (in the form of nagging!) I eventually agreed to go to church with Ruth and her family and started to learn about who Jesus was. During one of the services we were encouraged to invite Jesus into our lives – so I did.
Walking home from Ruth’s house one night I was feeling particularly low and was unsure and worried about what the future held for me. I remember having a sensation of being held and the feeling that everything would work out and that I didn’t need to worry about it. I know now that this was the Holy Spirit comforting me.
Over the years I never felt like being a Christian made much difference in my life (aside from a few awkward conversations with colleagues about why I go to church). During Alpha we were encouraged to reflect on our faith and our journey so far. It was at this time that I realised just how much God had been working in my life over the years. This was most noticeable in how much better I reacted to situations. Growing up, my reaction to situations I didn’t like was anger and violence. Nowadays it takes me a very long time to get angry and I no longer have it in me to be violent.
On the Alpha away-day in one of the group discussions someone asked if anyone had experienced the Holy Spirit first hand. When they asked this I felt a burning sensation spread through me and I felt like I was being prompted to share my story but I had only ever shared this with Ruth and it felt very personal. I discussed this with Mark Clay and he challenged me to share my testimony with the person that had asked. I thought and prayed about this and decided that if I was sharing my testimony then I wanted to be baptised.
Over the years I have avoided being baptised as I struggle with speaking in front of people and felt that I would be extremely uncomfortable reading my testimony myself. Earlier this year Nick took a small group session on baptism and explained that reading your testimony was optional. That night I sent Nick an email saying I wanted to be baptised so here I am.
2 October 2016