My testimony

May

As a 'wee' lassie in Glasgow - extreme left

I was born to Christian parents and was taken to Church as soon as I was born.  I knew Bible Stories before I could read.  I was taught to pray and never doubted what I learned about the Lord Jesus.   At the age of 5 or 6 I knew even in my childish heart that I was a sinner and that I personally needed God’s forgiveness.  I know that at that time,  I believed and accepted that the Lord Jesus died for my personal sin.

My life continued growing up in Glasgow, learning more about God through His Word.  His presence was with me always and I never doubted that.

Throughout my childhood my Mum was seriously ill with cancer.  Her quiet and simple faith and trust in Christ, despite her pain, horrendous treatment, surgeries and the many times we thought we would lose her,  was a tremendous influence on me.  She taught me to ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” and she showed me real Christian faith in action. This was to come back to me later in life.

When I was fourteen, my family moved from Glasgow to Portsmouth and I finished my Education there.   During that time I came under the conviction that I needed to be obedient to God by being baptized and this I did.  I knew the Presence of the Lord in my life as never before. 

Marriage and service

Eventually I met John and we fell in love.  I was so thrilled that I had met someone who loved the Lord as much as I did.  We arranged our wedding for May 1971 but at the end of March that year, our GP told us that my Mum would not make it to then.  So after a call to my Pastor and lots of phone calls to family, friends, we arranged for out wedding on 3rd April 1971.  My dear Mum lasted 3 weeks after that. She left a huge hole in my life as I loved her deeply.

John and I went on to serve the Lord as Missioners with the Royal Sailors’ Rest for 10 years including a 2 year stint in Singapore.  During this time we went Trinity College in Bristol.  Eventually John was ordained and  became Pastor of Calvary Evangelical Church in Brighton.  We went on to another Church in Sunderland.  The Lord allowed us to move back to Scotland and we worked for Scottish Christian Alliance for 10 years. 

Testing of faith

I took a kind of ‘early retirement’ and looked forward to doing things I’d not had time to do while working.  However,  the Lord had other plans for me.  I became ill at the beginning of 2008 but the Drs couldn’t find any reason.  I kept getting repeated infections including getting hospitalized for pneumonia.  After 18 months I was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the cervix, but before even seeing the Oncologist I ended up back in hospital with another bout of pneumonia.  A month later I was diagnosed with a rare Primary Immune Deficiency called 'Good’s Syndrome'.

 I don’t want to dwell on all of this, suffice it to say that I was so aware of the Lord’s peace and presence throughout my treatment.  The words of my Mum echoed in my heart,  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your understanding “   Well I certainly didn’t understand how my life could be changed so much,  but my trust in the Lord never wavered. 

Whatever was going to happen,  I was His child, and I was at peace.  I knew He was beside me every step of the way. He will keep that which I commited to Him.

My life has continued to change.  I  went on to develop Pelvic Radiation Disease as a result of the cancer treatment, I still have daily pain and fatigue and other issues,  but I know that I can “be still” in God’s Presence.  He has been with me every step of the way in my life’s journey, and I continue to be comforted by His Presence and His Word.

Although I am in daily pain and cannot do the things I used to do nevertheless God has given me so much to do and put me into contact with many others that suffer in the same way to encourage and share my faith with them. This may not have been what I would have chosen for my life but wherever the will of God leads me the Grace of God will keep me.

A hymn that expresses something of my experience

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

John Newton 1779

 HYMN & TUNE  http://youtu.be/ffmYLSEXCQQ