Nichola Ling

About six months ago, we sang a hymn that I’d never heard before.  Whilst we were singing, I thought, ‘That’s the hymn I’m going to have at my baptism’.  I was a bit shocked, because I hadn’t given being baptised any thought at all!

 

I was brought up attending church and Sunday School and always believed that there was a God.  I was baptised as an infant and then confirmed aged about twelve, essentially just because my sister wanted to be, and I didn’t want to be left out.

 

After leaving home to go to Medical School, I continued to attend church sporadically.  I couldn’t have told you why I went, just that I liked it when I was there, but I never really settled in one place.  Whilst I was in my third year at Medical School I became depressed.  I didn’t feel in control of my life and I was unhappy about some previous choices I’d made.  I had nine weeks off, but when I came to go back, they told me that I’d been off one week too long.  They said that I would need to start my third year all over again.  I gradually returned to full health and restarted the year.  I was really frustrated about it, but I didn’t have any choice.

 

However, in that new year group, I met Andrew, who I wouldn’t have otherwise met!  We started dating, moved to Leicester with work and eventually decided to get married.  Andrew suggested that we get married at All Saints Church, which is where my parents and grandparents got married.  We weren’t Christians and nor did we go to church so I was a bit surprised and suggested we might want to go to that church to try it out during our engagement.  Just before the wedding, Andrew told me that he hoped we weren’t going to stop going to church, just because the wedding would be over.  So we carried on going. 

 

Six months after the wedding, in September 2010, I went on the Alpha Course run by the church.  I’d decided that I wanted to learn more about Christianity but had heard about people having their lives changed by it.  This made me quite suspicious.  I wasn’t convinced I wanted my life changing apart from anything else!  I did learn a lot and then, in November, I went on the Alpha Away Day to discover the Holy Spirit.  I was terrified about the Away Day.  I’d heard things about people crying or falling over ‘in the spirit’ and I definitely didn’t want that to happen to me.  Whilst I was there I heard a voice, which reassured me that I wasn’t going to fall over or anything like that, but that I was going to grow in faith from that day on.  I said the prayer of salvation and became a Christian.

 

Thanks to the grounding from All Saints Church, I gradually got the courage to find a church local to where we live and started coming to Whetstone Baptist Church.  I joined a great small group and have made some wonderful friends.

 

More importantly, I have felt God working in my life.  I’ve never been more settled, since I accepted that I am not in control.  I am a passenger in the car that Jesus is driving.  That’s not to say that life has been perfect, I’ve had difficult times like anyone else.  We’ve had treatment for infertility and then lost a pregnancy that we’d waited a long time for.  However, at the Maundy Thursday Service, during that grieving time, I felt I was emotionally healed by the Holy Spirit.  Further treatment means that I’m now pregnant and due to give birth in early June.

 

So, back to six months ago, when we sang the hymn, ‘There is a Higher Throne’; the hymn that I’d never heard before; the hymn that whilst we were singing, I thought, ‘That’s the hymn I’m going to have at my baptism…’  Baptism was not something I felt I needed to do, so I ignored it.  But my small group told me that it would get to the point where I couldn’t ignore it any longer! 

 

And, it turns out that, that point is now!

 

I know that I have been changed by my faith.  I still do stupid things and make mistakes, but I can truly testify of 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things passed away, behold, new things have come.


Nichola Ling

February 2015