Three Coffees

Stories that Make a Difference
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Posts Tagged ‘bereavement’

Ann – Extended Story

Ann - Extended StoryMy story proves, without any shadow of doubt, three wonderful and amazing things about God.

He is REAL
He is FAITHFUL
His LOVE is UNCONDITIONAL and NEVER ENDS

Always searching for something or someone – never satisfied – fear, anxiety, disappointment, anger. All these emotions ruled my life all through my teenage years into my late twenties. By this time I was married with three children, living in Singapore. My husband was an alcoholic who made our lives intolerable and fear was always present as we wondered what would happen when my husband came home.

A couple had moved into our neighbourhood and they started up a Good News Club on a Friday night for the children in the area. My two elder children started going and absolutely loved it. They would come home and sing choruses and tell me all about the fun they were having. Sometimes I would find myself crying as they sang their songs.. Then one night they came home absolutely FULL of excitement, saying ‘why didn’t you tell us that we could ask Jesus into our heart and be born again and we can go to heaven. My response was, I didn’t know that. Well, we’ve done it they said, we have asked Jesus to come into our hearts. I saw my children change over the following months. They had joy, they had peace, they were coping with life better than I was. Finally, one Friday night I was so overwhelmed by my situation, my life, my fear, that I went into my garden, crying, looked up at the sky and said, God if this is true, if you are real, then do something, change my life and I hand over my life to you.. There was no bolt of lightening, no revelation, but just saying those words released something in me and the next morning I woke up with hope in my heart. My situation didn’t change, in fact it got worse, especially when I told my husband what I had done, but I did. I had found what I had been looking for I had found God – the Real, living God who gives peace and joy. God protected, blessed, and enabled us to live in the same circumstances with a tremendous happiness in our lives.

God eventually made a way for the children and I to move to Zimbabwe where we found a Pentecostal Church. It was here that I discovered that God is THE Provider – a single mum with three children and we never, ever went without and ALWAYS had enough to give and bless others.. we were living out our lives when, after a period of three years, my husband literally turned up on my doorstep, having left the Air Force. He asked for a second chance. As a Christian I felt I should try to reconcile our marriage. We then had another child, but unfortunately he had not changed and eventually we ended our marriage.

David was the last born and right from a very young age he had a heart after God. He loved people and was fearless in his approach to sharing the gospel, one day at a rugby match some young people were swearing and drinking and he went up and told them that Jesus loved them. There are many stories I could tell you about him. Two months after David’s 13th Birthday he went off to school on the Monday morning and was killed by an army truck that went through a red light. How I wish I could say that when this happened I trusted my God, I rested in Him, but I didn’t. I, who had experienced provision, love, peace, life – turned away, became angry, blaming God for David’s death.

I said to God I am walking away – I am going to live my own life and I did. But, oh the mercy of God, He let me go but he gave me someone to walk with me. Chas and I came to England 23 years ago, not intending to stay. For many of those years I tried very hard to forget God, but He did not forget me. I look back and I can see his mercy and love in operation even in my rebellion. There were times when I would look at creation and would want to praise God and I did. I praised Him but I didn’t want to follow Him. Once, I offered to pray for a work colleague who was going through a difficult time and I prayed in tongues. God’s mercy – God’s faithfulness, God never leaving me. So many times I would hear the whisper of God – come on, come back but I would harden my heart. However, I knew my life was lacking, Again never satisfied, I was always looking for something else. Together Chas and I knew we needed to find God again, we knew there was an empty space in our lives and we knew it was God that we needed but we didn’t quite know how to find Him. Our reconnection started at Tewkesbury Abbey. A strange place to start one thinks, but for us, it was the right place. God knows us ALL so well.

I am an emotional person and sometimes I cannot rely on my emotions, I need to know truth and reality (always my cry) so all the momentous times I have had with God have not been at some great rally or amazing service but in the quiet places where it has only been God and me. I was saved in my garden, no preacher, no altar call – I was filled by the Holy Spirit in my own home and I reconnected with God in the quiet of the Abbey, with no inspiring sermon I can’t tell you when I said O God, I’m sorry, take me back, restore me. I think it was my cry for longer than I realise. I CAN tell you that not for one minute did I think God would reject me. Like the father of the prodigal son, God was just waiting for me to return. I returned with nothing, other than my shame and sorrow, and was given a new chance, a new life

Two years at Tewkesbury Abbey, THE SLOW DANCE and then God led us to One Church, Home. I am HOME, back with my Father, back with the family, where I belong. Someone prophesied over us about a couple of years ago, someone who knew NOTHING at all about our story and said a page had turned in our lives and we now had a Blank page that God was going to write on. A BLANK SHEET – not smeared, not rubbed out – A BLANK WHITE SHEET – the grace of God.

My story is one of LOVE, not mine, but Gods

My story is one of MERCY, not mine, but Gods

My story is one of FAITHFULNESS, not mine but Gods


Claire

Claire

I became a Christian when I was 11 during a particularly boring Thursday morning Art lesson. The night before I had been with the same good friend that prayed with me in the back of that classroom, to a youth group in her church. Walking home after listening to the pastor read from the Bible, I understood for the first time that God loved me, had designed me inside and out and held an exciting purpose for my life in his hands. That first simple meeting with my creator has carried me through eighteen years of absolute highs and definite lows such as when I lost my amazing Dad to a heart attack three years ago. It was devastating but I know that before, throughout and beyond that awful time, God was and is a constant friend, a true father and my healer. Eighteen years on from that Art lesson, I just can’t imagine living my life without God at the centre of it.


Linda

LindaI had a great childhood in sunny South Africa with lots of fun and laughter. As a child, Sundays were special family days with Church an important part of the day.

Then tragedy struck. My 18 year old brother was killed whilst serving in the army. Life changed in our family and within a year we left our home country.

At the age of 14 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which has brought with it much pain and major surgery.

Shortly after that I started to wonder what life was all about. After lots of doubts and questions, I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. I believed that He was the only one who could heal the hurt.

I have known peace in tough times and great joy that lasts. I have a caring and loving husband and know that Jesus is interested in me and every part of my life.


Lisa

LisaI grew up believing in God. At the age of 19, after the death of my grandmother, I began to question the meaning of life and ‘If there is a God, why…’

I was invited along to Church by a friend. I was surprised it was so lively. I never expected to see drums and electric guitars being played! I remember thinking this can’t be church it must be Butlins! I heard for the first time that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus. I made my mind up on that day that I wanted to get to know him.

All these years on, I can say that Jesus has become an incredible best friend to me. He has cheered me on through the tough times, partied with me through the good times and walks with me through the ordinary times. I’m so glad I now understand the meaning of life!


Jean

JeanI grew up in a Christian family, and we went to the local Baptist church. I learned about God’s love and Jesus when I was very young at Sunday School, so at five Jesus became my friend. As I grew up, my relationship with Him deepened, and I committed my life to him. I was baptised at seventeen. My faith and trust in God was really tested when, at seventeen, my mother died suddenly and four years later my father also died suddenly. Without God, I know my life would have been a mess. I knew God was always with me and He brought me through this difficult time stronger in my faith. Throughout my life with all its ups and downs, God’s promise ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ has been true, and I know He will never let me down.


Joe

JoeI was brought up in church from day one and, though I knew right from wrong, church and being a Christian were ‘Sunday’ things rather than a lifestyle.

Life seemed good as I grew into more responsibility in church until a close and young family member died suddenly during my A levels. I started a degree in a new city and hit an assault course of situations; recreational drugs, sexuality and two suicides of close friends left me feeling empty, lonely and doubting the future.

After visiting my parents one weekend I felt compelled to go to church. I told God that enough was enough, that if He was real He had to show me black and white… the rest is history.

God’s not bothered about my past; he believes in me and wants the best for me. He’s always there cheering me on and loving me unconditionally, no matter how much I mess up – there’s nothing better than that!


Sarah

SarahI’ve been at church since I was 7 days old. I’ve been brought up aware that there is a God and that Jesus died for me!

There were a lot of times when I struggled with my faith, but God never turned his back on me!

It was at the age of 19 that I needed God the most, my partner of four years had just been killed in a car accident. Even though it was the most painful, horrifying time of my life, I immediately turned my eyes and focused on God.

I will never forget my past, but God has helped me to build a happy future for myself. He placed his arms around me and protected me through this time; he has never allowed me to feel lonely.