I grew up in Ashbourne, a small market town in Derbyshire on the edge of the Peak District. I never went to church as a child; I had no belief at all in anything. To me, the Bible (although I’d never read it) and Christianity were an absolute load of rubbish. I spent my Religious Education lessons drawing horses. Now they were my passion! Horses!
I had absolutely no interest in school – just in horses. I loved the outdoor life. So it seemed natural for me to go and work in the stables. I started work in a large manor house in Derbyshire working with the horses. I was fulfilling my dream, and I loved my work.
My husband was a gamekeeper, and we soon moved to Wales where we have lived for 56 years. I so enjoyed the countryside and family life with our two daughters. What happened next came as quite a shock to me.
One day, out of nowhere, I suddenly became aware of a huge sense of guilt. I found myself weeping uncontrollably – for no apparent reason at all. I had a lovely family. I still occasionally helped on the farm with the horses which I loved. No-one had died. No-one was ill. What was going on? I had absolutely no idea.
I spoke to a friend who attended a Roman Catholic Church about how I felt. She asked me to go to church with her, but I declined. She left a card with me – it had the Beatitudes written on it from Matthew chapter 5.
Something prompted me to look up the Beatitudes on-line. Some cartoons popped up illustrating the Beatitudes, and afterwards, a link to a minister in the United States of America appeared. I had no idea who he was, but I clicked on the link and heard my first-ever sermon… on the Beatitudes. I knew that was it! I found myself weeping again. But where did I go from here? I’d had contact with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians and with Roman Catholics, but I just felt in my heart that they weren’t right. But I knew that what I just listened to was right!
I decided to write to the mission society from the link that I had followed. They were based in Virginia, on the east coast of America. To my surprise, one evening the phone rang. It was them, the mission society from Virginia! They were phoning me in response to my email.
I struggled to blurt out what had happened to me – not that I was sure what had actually happened! I was ready, there and then, to pack up and go to America! I thought that I was the only Christian in Wales! But the person who phoned me was looking for a church for me – here in Wales!
He found one in Aberystwyth called Alfred Place Baptist Church. The pastor there contacted the church in Lampeter, as this was where my home was. I was put in touch with Lampeter Evangelical Church, and that’s where I’ve been attending ever since.
Knowing God’s forgiveness
Being part of the church in Lampeter is wonderful. I’ve never met such lovely people. Being part of a fellowship, being taught the Word of God, attending Bible studies – it’s all quite amazing. I know what I hear is true, but nobody persuaded me of that except God himself through his Holy Spirit. I can’t get enough of listening to the Word of God. I love to be with God’s people and will do anything to make that happen.
And do you know what? They still keep in touch with me from America – asking me how I’m getting on. I am so grateful to them and my friends at Lampeter Evangelical Church and the Mustard Seed Café who have shown such love and support towards me.
So what has changed for me since God has changed my heart through his Word? Well, I still help on the farm every morning with the horses. But now, instead of weeping because I feel guilty, now I weep with joy. I’m still so aware of my sin and my guilt, but I know that both my sin and my guilt have been dealt with by the Lord Jesus once and for all when he died on the cross at Calvary. I am forgiven. How could anyone love me that much? It’s overwhelming! It’s like someone giving you a present you just don’t deserve. I do still weep with sorrow for my family and for those who do not yet know Christ. My cry and prayer now is that God would open their eyes as he has mine.
I am overwhelmed that God has forgiven me and I know that I can trust him for everything, I really don’t have a worry in the world. I have seen so many answers to prayer, and God has already given me so much, I know I can trust him completely.