Sunday, 21 October 2012

Chocolate pavlova

Today my oldest daughter got baptised.  It was a day of great joy and hugely emotional....this is her own story in her own words that she read out before getting into the pool......

"Hello Everyone!! I am 16 years old. I was brought up/ am being brought up in a Christian family with my mum, dad, brother and sister.  I became a Christian when I was four years old. Although I don’t remember much about that moment, I know that I was certain that Jesus had, very simply, died for ‘all the naughty things that I did’ – and at this point that was sufficient. As I grew up my faith in Jesus deepened and with it came a deeper love for him, which can only be explained by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and the beautiful Christian friends and family placed around me!

However, even at the beginning of secondary school my life was fairly easy going. But on the 31st of December 2008 my life was completely turned upside down when my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Thus began the start of a hectic year, full of pain and sadness, but also of memories and laughter. One that left us (as a family) broken, drained and relying solely on the God to whom we all loved and followed. Yet, in December 2009 my mum was transferred to the Duchess of Kent palliative care unit.  Initially I was unaware of exactly what this meant, but shortly afterwards my dad and mum sat me, my brother and sister down with Sean, Liz, Amanda(my aunt) and as my dad began to read this passage from John chapter 14 my eyes filled with tears as I comprehended what was coming: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me. In my father’s house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would not have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am.’ My mum was on her final journey. Over the next couple of months I saw my mum grow weaker and weaker. I needed someone who would tenderly comfort me and remind me of the great glory that my mum was going to. Therefore, when my Mum died on the 12th of February 2010 I had to be absolutely rock solid in my faith. Because, if what I had previously believed was false, then my life was in a complete mess - but I stand today believing that my Mum is in eternal glory. I can say with confidence, ‘Death oh where is your sting?’ and, I know that, when I meet my maker I will also see my mum again!!! This assurance that I stand by meant, that as I began to grieve for my mum, through it all I have known the steadfast love of my saviour comforting me.
                Finally, even though I am very strong willed – which can be a very bad thing…., one of the most competitive people you will probably ever meet AND amazingly disorganised-don’t ask me to come anywhere on time!…..I know that with an on-going relationship with the Father, the Holy Spirit is slowly moulding and shaping me to be more like Jesus. I have realised this more at Newday this year where I have definitely encountered God afresh. I have learnt that our God is a mountain shaker and that He is best exalted in our weakness e.g. humbling myself and admitting that I am actually wrong sometimes - which my parents remind me of!  I have realised that He is always a good God!… I have also discovered that I don’t have to be in church or reading my bible or praying for God to speak to me. In fact, quite often, I feel the presence of God or have pictures whilst horse riding!!! AND I now have Ellie my new step-mum and Barnaby and Lucy, my step brother and sister. I know that God has placed them in our path and I love them very dearly… We are now a family of 7!!!
                So I have decided to be baptised today as a declaration of my faith – I know my sin is forgiven - and to show that my heart and life have changed as a result of the good news of Christ. This is an act of following the example that Jesus Christ set and commanded us to do also. I shall continue to pursue and serve Him for the rest of my life, held in his hands, until I, like my mother, kneel at the feet of my glorious King- what a day!"

After lots of tears, we all went back to our house and ate Chocolate Pavlova, amongst other things!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Widowed Young

Over the last few months, Ellie and I have been doing some bereavement befriending work for the charity Care For The help people like us who've experienced the death of a husband/wife at a young age.  They are a great charity and we feel privileged to be a part of what they are doing, if only in a small way. 
They've just published something of Ellie's journey on their website here. I won't add anything to it.....