While in church during the evening service recently, I became aware that I was celebrating an anniversary… not a special birthday or wedding anniversary, but it was 30 years since I had become a Christian. It seems so long ago but the experience still remains very fresh in my memory and very relevant in my life.

Things could have been very different for me if God hadn’t revealed Jesus Christ to me as my Saviour on that day; if He hadn’t made me aware of my sin in the days leading up to my conversion; and if the Christians that I’d met throughout my life until then hadn’t been faithful in proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God – living a perfect life for me, dying for me on the cross so that I didn’t have to face punishment in hell, and to have instead the promise of sins forgiven and a home in Heaven for ever after I die.

I heard of God and Jesus in Crusaders, Sunday school, Bible Classes and EMW camps. During my teenage years I left all of these groups to participate in sport on Sundays. It wasn’t my plan not to but I never returned to Bible class or go to another camp as an unbeliever. My later teenage years were the years of an ordinary teenager influenced by many of the trends and activities that teenagers participate in with the goal of having as much fun as possible.

During that time I passed my driving test, began my career, and met and married Steve. Several times I was prompted to think about God, but I was too immersed with continuing to have fun and too busy building our lives together to listen to any of the promptings that He gave. But there was an emptiness in my life that all of these things didn’t satisfy.

God drew near at unexpected times. I was in a car accident involving a child and in work the next day, I could barely concentrate. I felt dreadful, wondering what I was doing there. A lady, visiting our department for the final time, gave me a gift, 2 booklets: “The Reason Why” and “Words of Comfort”. I asked myself, “How did she know…?”

Once alone, I skimmed through “Words of Comfort”, desperately seeking some verses that would give me a glimmer of peace or hope… I read, “Be strong and of good courage for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest” Joshua 1v9; “Fear thou not for I am with thee” Isaiah 41v10; “The Lord Jesus Christ said, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me” John 14v1. Although not a believer at that time, those words really spoke to me and gave me peace and calm. (At a later date, I read “The Reason Why” and it convinced me that God created everything and ultimately led me to acknowledge Jesus as my Saviour).

I had colleagues who were Christians. They were serving God through the Navigator ministry that was active in Cardiff at that time. Steve and I were invited to a barbecue – unknown to us it was an outreach event held by some local Navigators. Despite the shock of finding ourselves challenged about our faith (or lack of it), I left that barbecue armed with Bible study leaflets and made a promise to retrieve my Bible from the attic. Slowly I began seeking God, accepted an invitation to church, and began praying.

While seeking God, I became familiar with the Bible again, revisiting portions of Scripture and recognising verses that I’d memorised as a child. I prayed for my sins to be forgiven frequently and wondered why God wasn’t answering my prayers. Later God revealed to me the real depths of my sin and I knew that I had no choice but to turn to God and ask for forgiveness. He showed me that Jesus was “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14v6). I had to depend on Jesus and Jesus alone for salvation. Salvation didn’t come quickly, although when it did it was very obvious, real and life changing. 30 years ago God answered my prayer for forgiveness and I became a Christian.

I thought that I knew all I needed to know about the Christian life, Jesus and God and wondered what more God would want to have to do with me. How naïve I was! Now I realise that salvation is only the beginning of a new life. There are so many new experiences, new friends, new influences, new blessings, a new awareness of God’s love for us and so many promises that we can claim given by God in the Bible. I had no idea that fellowship in Christ could be enjoyed with other Christians, that singing hymns would be a blessing, that we could have pleasure in serving God, be delighted to know answers to prayer and be thrilled to tell others about Jesus. God has continually demonstrated His love for me; He is most patient and is constantly teaching me more about Himself.

By repeating one of my favourite hymns I hope that you will be prompted to seek Jesus as your Saviour too:-

“I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean.
How marvellous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvellous! How wonderful i
s my Saviour’s love to me!

He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone.
How marvellous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvellous! How wonderful is my Saviour’s love to me!”