Stephanie is married to Steve with two adult sons and a daughter-in-law. Recently retired from NHS work, Stephanie has now trained as a Street Pastor in Cardiff.

The experience of becoming a Christian remains fresh in my memory and very relevant in my life.

Things could have been very different for me . I had heard of God and Jesus Christ in Sunday school, Bible Classes and Christian camps. During my teens I left all these groups to participate in Sunday sport . My later teenage years were the years of an ordinary teenager with the goal of having as much fun as possible.

During that time I passed my driving test, began my career, met and married Steve. Several times I was prompted to think about God, but I was too immersed with having fun and building our lives together to listen to God . But there was an emptiness in my life that was not satisfied by the way I lived .

God drew near to me 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 of two 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 bible 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) ; and also

“Fear thou not for I am with thee” (Isaiah 41v10) then I read

“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 spoke to me and gave me peace and calm. At a later date, I also read the booklet “The Reason Why” which convinced me that God created everything and this ultimately led me to acknowledge Jesus as my Saviour.

I had work colleagues who were Christians. They were serving God so my husband Steve and I were invited by them to a barbecue – unknown to us it was an event to reach unbelievers like ourselves. Despite the shock of finding ourselves challenged about our lack of faith , 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 started praying.

While seeking God, I became familiar with the Bible again, revisiting and recognising verses that I had 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. 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 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 is 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!”