Two years ago my life was very different I was looking forward to moving into my dream home, in a happy relationship, at the beginning of a wonderful life! I felt I had worked hard to earn this and deserved to be truly happy but I was also was thankful to God for all of it. However a few short months later a nuclear bomb exploded in my life leaving me questioning my faith and embarking upon a time of self-abuse. I was angry at God and ran as quickly and as defiantly in the opposite direction. Obviously this didn’t end well. Left to my own devices, I spiralled into a life I didn’t recognise. When I reached rock bottom, completely alone, God rallied the troops and saved me, even though I couldn’t see this at the time. There is no way I should have survived the year.
Once safe, and working on myself in a positive way, I made small steps towards church but I always felt forsaken and like I didn’t belong there. Then, by His work I was brought in contact with some friends old and new who invited me to the Carol service at Victoria Hall. I arrived with no expectation other than getting in the festive spirit and enjoying a little of the mulled wine. Settling in my seat I listened to the beautiful choir and looked around at all the truly happy people. I remembered about how my attendance at church had been a source support and comfort, something which I had needed so badly during my darkest days.
I listened attentively to each of the readings, but when the pastor stepped in front of the congregation to begin the sermon, it felt as if he was speaking directly to me. He spoke of how everyone is so precious to God, even when we feel worthless He treasures us. He said that if you have emptiness inside of you, if you feel unworthy of God, if you have walked away from God, you can always return and that God is waiting to welcome and cherish you. Emotion suddenly began to build up inside me and I began to feel like a small child separated from her parents, I wanted to run back and leap into protective loving arms. I had always seen God as a loving father who cared unconditionally for his child (me). In the midst of my personal nightmare I had forgotten this very important fact. Wrapped up in my own despair I forgot that all I had to do was hold out my hand and God was there. Tears welled in my eyes, but not wanting to embarrass myself I held them in. They weren’t meant to stay there though, my friend turned to me and said “It’s no coincidence you coming here tonight.” Tears came as I realised that God had shown me a path and lighted the way so that I could come back to Him. I prayed with the prayer team afterwards realising that God will not bring you kicking and screaming to His way, God will leave His door forever open and a light forever on so that you can always come home, and like a parent who has lost a child he will never stop hoping and looking for you to come back.