I was in my early thirties when I first came to know the Lord.
I grew up in a non-Christian home and the only churches I knew of were attended during weddings or funerals. Funerals ended up in the pub and weddings were usually of the shotgun variety, which once again ended up in the pub, followed by the ensuing brawl.
At the age of seventeen I started my career as a nurse, which marked the beginning of a wild life.
I became pregnant at twenty-three and had a beautiful daughter whose father I later married. As life had it, we gave birth to a second child, a boy. During his infant years, due to sickness and a medical condition, he underwent eight operations. Over the years my husband began to drink, gamble, and become abusive. We were married ten years before I finally left him. This was after I miscarried for the second time after his bashings.
After the second miscarriage I haemorrhaged severely and almost died. I had a near-death experience where I felt the separation of my body and soul. I could see my lifeless body on the bed and knew that I was not cross-matched for blood. I could name all the people in the room and as I watched, I saw my funeral flash before my eyes. Images of my two children, aged one, and four, were before me, when I heard a voice say, ‘Come with me.’ I said ‘No, what about my children?’
My son was with me at the hospital because of his medical condition, and on that particular day my mother (who usually never got out of bed before 11am) caught two buses to be at the hospital, arriving at the precise time that I began to haemorrhage. Fortunately she was able to take care of the baby while I was resuscitated. I recall nothing more of the event until I returned from theatre that evening.
When I went home and recalled the experience I had, I began to believe that there is life after death. I decided I wanted to be sure that I would end up in the right place.
I signed up at a Church of England for confirmation classes and had the children christened. I really did try to find my way. However, I did not have a revelation of Christ and eventually went off on an opposite tangent. I got divorced, was caught up in adultery, had a business that went bankrupt and got involved in the occult. Séances, flower readings, automatic handwriting and fortune telling… it was seven years since my near-death experience and little did I know this would be the time I would finally come to know the Lord.
Now this is the amazing part. With my life in an absolute mess, I was single, working three jobs and struggling, while still trying to raise two children on my own… I can clearly remember the day I sat down and asked myself if this was the kind of life I wanted for me and my children. Were the people I was associating with the kind of people I wanted to become? The answer was NO.
It was tax time. I called a number and asked for help with my taxation. The lady who answered the telephone said a man would come to my home, and we arranged a time.
Nice man. Once we got talking about tax, I asked if he wanted a cup of coffee. He said he was fasting. I said, ‘What are you, some kind of religious nut?’ He said ‘No, I m going to a men’s conference and so I am fasting and praying.’
Fasting? Praying? All new words to me. I said, ‘I suppose you don’t drink or smoke either?’ He said, ‘No, I have been delivered from that’. Fasting, praying, deliverance?
I said, ‘So you must be so good that you are getting ready to die and be reincarnated?’ He laughed and said, ‘No, that’s not how it is. Do you have a Bible?’ I said no, that I had books on reincarnation; but I did find a children’s Bible with the first eleven chapters ripped out.
This man found the scripture, ‘And as it is appointed unto man once to die…’ (Hebrews 9:27, KJV). From there we entered into a discussion. He led me to the Lord that day at my dining room table. There was no hype, no tears, just a godly man sharing from his heart and a young woman who God knew was desperately trying to find her way in life and end up in the right place when she died.
The man invited me to church and the rest is history. That was almost thirty years ago. I have hardly missed a day in church. God has taken my life, my career, and used it for His purposes and glory. I have worked in four countries as a nurse and missionary and travelled to many more on medical missions. All this and all the travel I hope to capture in books one day, with the sole purpose of encouraging other people in the Lord.
This one man, a part time Pentecostal preacher who was supporting his income by doing tax returns, shared his faith with me and led me to Christ. That day my life was transformed.
Can one person make a difference? Yes, they can. Jesus did and so can His followers.
I hope this story blesses someone.
Transcribed from the book – ‘First Love’