I was born in Australia into a Christian home. My family, whose faith and conviction, enabled them to speak up in matters relating to the Bible or God whenever the opportunity arose. My father became a Christian when I was 6 years old and I remember watching him being baptized at church. Growing up with a Christian way of life was the norm for us. However this never guaranteed me a straight Christian path; I always knew that I needed to experience God for myself. I had a strong sense that God was always there but that I needed to come and meet with Him as an individual, it wasn't something that others could do for me.
When I was 12 years old, there was a Christian speaker who came to our school and this is when I first asked Jesus to come into my heart, to forgive me of my sins and to be my Lord and Saviour. I still remember it clearly to this day. God did come and meet with me that day and he has never left me since.
The Prodigal Globetrotter
I completed a nursing diploma straight out of school and by the time I was 20 years old, I had arrived in the UK on a one way ticket, with a backpack and $100 to my name. My dream was to be a midwife and deliver babies in Africa! I spent three years working as a nurse and nanny and I travelled much of Europe, a little of Africa and central and South America. I could call those years my ‘wayward’ years. Being away from my family, experiencing life on my own and being exposed to different influences with no responsibilities. Despite some crazy choices, (my poor mother!) I always felt safe “that’s because we prayed for you everyday” my mother and father said. During this time I can say that I always felt God’s peace and small voice calling me back to Him, He was always there for me.
Married With Children
Towards the end of my time overseas, a flat mate introduced me to his university friend from home, this amazing man was to become my future husband. We were married a couple of years later and now live in Auckland New Zealand. Life became busy with four young children and I struggled to get into a church routine, attending only very occasionally. My mother often said to me “are you taking my grandchildren to Sunday School”? I knew she was right, I didn't want my children to miss out on knowing and learning about God, so our local Baptist Kindergarten filled that gap for me when I wasn't able to. I was always very grateful for that Kindy.
It was during this time that I also returned to university and completed a teaching degree. I now have 13 years teaching experience in primary and kindergarten. I enjoy being connected to my community and other mothers who are dealing with everyday life and raising children.
Our household is very busy with sporty and active children and as they grew older I became more aware of the changing society around them. I craved for them to have good families and Godly influences in their lives. I knew God was calling me back to church, to His family. I knew that only Jesus could satisfy our needs and questions about life. I also knew that I couldn't do it on my own, I needed God to lead us, and my husband to support me for the sake of our children. I am very grateful that even though he was not a Christian at this point, he was willing to come along. God used this time at church, to speak to his heart also and now he has become a Christian. I remember dreaming about having my husband and family sit beside me in church and how I hoped that one day that would happen. Now I can say that it’s a reality, with all thanks to God. This is the power of prayer and how His Holy Spirit works in our hearts.
No Turning Back
At this point there was no going back for me and I was baptized in the church swimming pool in front of my family. This was my true turning point, the moment when I could say with real confidence that I belonged to God, because I knew that nothing could ever separate me from His love again. As I think back to the years when I wasn't walking with God, when I was doing my own thing, they strike me now as being ‘half full’ or a feeling of ‘not quite there’, something was missing. Now with Gods purpose and meaning in my life, those gaps are being filled in a way only God can. I’m in no way perfect because I’m human too! But with hope, my life is richer and deeper. I am excited about the soon return of Jesus, because I know that my true home is with Him in His kingdom.
The men and women in my family were members of the armed services, and I grew up with a father who had been to Vietnam and was a real soldier at heart. With extended family our discussions around the dinner table often involved world history, cultural and political events. I remember certain phrases often being said “it tells us in the Bible that this will happen” and “that is part of Gods plan” and also very clearly that “Jesus is going to return to us one day, he has promised us and it is written”. I grew up knowing that it was important to talk about Jesus coming back one day. We don’t know when that will happen, but we must be ready. These discussions didn’t scare me, in fact they were a source of comfort, and a way of understanding what was going on around me in the world. They made sense to me from a Biblical perspective. God is good and His plan is good.
These conversations sparked my interest and desire to understand what the Bible tells us about the coming events of our world. Everyone has a right to know Gods plan, God doesn't want it to be a secret, he has written it in the Bible for us all to understand as it happens. He wants the whole world and every person to know that he offers freedom and hope, that he offers eternal life with Him in His kingdom and that he is returning soon.
All we have to do is come, be still and meet with Him, we have to be willing to listen, He is waiting and He is always ready for you, however it is that you come to Him. Are you ready to stop and listen? I truly hope and pray that you do. Because Gods peace surpasses all understanding, even in these ever changing world times. God never changes. We can trust and rely on Him always, for all His ways are true.