of encouragement>> testimony
LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT - Testimony
I was baptized a Catholic when I was born in 1962. My
mother was Catholic, and my father was Anglican. My education, until I
was 16 years of age, was at the Ursuline Convent.
During the time I was at the Convent, I had heard about
Jesus. When I was in Kindergarten, I was frequently asked to fetch the
Bible, as the Sister in charge always read us Bible stories after lunch.
I can always remember that being a special time for me.
My family was not committed to attending church services,
even though I do remember my mother taking me to Catholic Mass when I
asked her to. However, I did find it boring. I think it was because I
was a child, and the services were geared to adults. It was an hour-long
ritual of kneeling, standing and sitting. A far cry from the Bible Stories
I had enjoyed at a younger age.
I can remember in my early teens watching a local programme
on television called "Outreach". Every day I would watch that
programme, which must have been quite unusual for a teenager. I believe
that God was reaching out to me at this early age. However, there was
no Holy Spirit-filled person in my family to notice my interest in the
things of God.
From the time I left the Ursuline Convent at 16 years
of age, until I was 33 years old, I lived my life according to my own
desires. I became a party girl in my late teens – partying all weekend,
barely arriving home before sunrise the following day. Life was fun!
I went to Art College at age 19. There I continued to
party for the first year, but settled down during the second year. My
time at Art College really changed me. I loved the art environment, and
the fact that everyone lived and breathed "art". However, there
were some negative experiences at that time, which made me look at life
differently… and I became more reserved and conservative.
I came back home to work in Barbados. Several years later,
I married my husband at the age of 24. The marriage was short-lived, as
we were separated
3 years later. I lived for 18 months in England during
that time, and this brought a lot of pressure on the marriage since I
did not make the transition easily. I missed my home and my family!
God would later show me that I had never included Him in my marriage,
as I had been married before a local Magistrate in Barbados. In my heart,
I had thought it was hypocritical to marry in a church as I did not believe
in the Christian Faith.
Shortly after my divorce became final, a very good friend
of mine was murdered. My friend was also my employer. This meant that
both my home life and my work life came under immense pressure at the
same time. And my world fell apart.
I was very traumatised for a long time without realising
it. I felt like an iceberg. I was going through the motions of life on
the outside, but my heart was dead on the inside.
However, God had not forgotten me. I went into counselling
for many years trying to discover who I really was. I found that I had
lived my life as was expected of me, and not who I truly was.
At that time, God brought a little poodle into my life
called Chloe. She looked just like a curly, white lamb. I would let her
sleep in my bed, and she was like an incubator. Somehow the warmth from
her body, was slowly melting the iceberg around me. God was using her
to start the long, slow process of healing. I always found it funny that
God sent me a "lamb" – just like Jesus, the Lamb of God.
It was 1993, and an ordained Minister and his family had
moved into our neighbourhood. He invited me to a Bible Study at his house.
I started to attend on a regular basis. Six months later, I made a commitment
to Jesus Christ, and was baptized. I can remember thinking, "I am
going to try this." What did I have to lose? I had made a mess of
my life already!
I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, that changed
my life forever! I came to realise our true purpose in life, and that
is to be reconciled with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. And secondly,
to live every day in fellowship with Him.
I would not go on another moment without Jesus in my life.
He has filled so many roles in my life – from Friend, to Counsellor,
Comforter, Provider, Healer…. He is my Inspiration. I live and breathe,
because He breathes His Breath in me. I spend every day in His Presence…
and I just enjoy knowing Him, and being with Him.
It is my prayer that you would come to know Him too.
69 Southern Heights, Balls, Christ Church,
BARBADOS, West Indies