From early in my childhood I remember that faith and going to church on a Sunday was important.
I also attended Sunday School and sang in the church choir for many years.
The Rector and his wife were great friends with my grandmother, who played an important role in my life as a very loving and practicing Christian-minded woman.
Many years later, when I married and had my three children I felt it important to bring them up as I had been. My faith continued to be important to me.
Whilst my children were young I experienced a period of depression. One day was walking with my husband and family along the beach, beside an estuary, and saw a small church, beside the beach. I felt drawn to go into the church where I prayed for help, as I was feeling quite desperate.
My prayers were answered and from that day I began to recover and feel stronger.
Many years later I was driving home, late at night, after visiting my elderly grandmother. She had said a prayer before I left asking that I have a safe journey home. On my way home I had a puncture in my front, passenger-side tyre. I tried to change it but could not undo the wheel nuts. It was a main road and cars were pulling out around my car as I stood nervously beside it. After a few minutes a car stopped and a man kindly offered to help me. As he undid the wheel nuts two broke off. He was not happy for me to drive home and kindly insisted on seeing me safely home, which was considerably out of his way. When we arrived at our drive entrance I stopped and got out of my car to thank him and offered him a cup of tea, which he politely declined saying he needed to get home to his wife as she would be wondering where he was. As the man turned to get into his car the bright moonlight caught the crucifix which he was wearing around his neck and my heart missed a beat. I knew he had been sent to help me. Once again prayers had been answered.
In 1987 our farmhouse caught fire and was badly damaged. We lost most of our belongings and only had the clothes we were wearing. It was a shocking experience, yet also an uplifting one as over the next few day’s family and friends provided us with a temporary home, food, clothes and everything which we needed. Our vicar, at the time, brought his caravan to our farm for us to use as a shelter and to make cups of tea in, as the cows still had to be milked and the calves fed.
Everyone’s generosity was amazing and we were very grateful and glad to be alive and unhurt. I truly felt that we were, again, being looked after and thanked God.
There are many more instances which I could share where I know that I was being ‘held’ and supported in God’s loving care.
Recently our daughter, Helen, has felt the ‘calling’ to Ministerial Training. I look forward to her ordination into the priesthood. Faith is continuing to play an important role both mine and my family’s lives, for which I am very grateful.
I have always felt close to God when I am walking in the woods or beside the sea, close to nature.
I wrote the following poem on one memorable day sitting, quietly, on a Cornish beach.
GOD IS LOVE
God is love,
His Spirit is all around us,
In the flowers and in the trees,
Whispering to us in the breeze…
“Listen, be still, I am with you always,
I love you today, tomorrow and forever,
Trust, put your hand in mine,
And we will walk together”.
“Be still and know that I Am God”.
Feeling Gods presence is a wonderful gift, not only through prayer but also meditation.
Meditation, to me means simply sitting with God. It helps me to let go worrying thoughts and focus on the present moment, which is perfect. It is where I feel completely happy and at peace and most importantly…. Loved.
It is important to prioritize being aware of God’s presence and for this reason I enjoy going to meditation retreats and Quiet Days, where many of us gather together to enjoy God’s presence.
As a result I find a renewed strength and feel able to deal with whatever challenges I am presented with.
I have so much to be grateful for and I feel that I am truly blessed.