I did not grow up as a Christian. I grew up in an inner city suburb around housing commission flats. My father was an alcoholic. Although he lived with us he was basically in a world of his own and took no part in our lives, other than to fight with my mum. My mother is my hero and she basically brought the four of us up on her own without much support and it took a terrible toll on her health and although she lived to 69 years old, her health for the last 10 years of her life was very poor. I had two older brothers and a younger sister. My sister was 2 years younger than me and we were quite close. She died from a drug overdose when she was 16. I felt I should have looked after her better and was in my mind responsible for her. After a short period of time I could no longer carry the burden of guilt and decided to take my own life. I cut my wrist through veins and tendons and as I felt my life ebbing away I felt free from my shame. And then I thought of my mum who I loved more than anyone and that while she was going through the pain of losing her only daughter, I was about to double that agony and she was going to find me. As much as I genuinely felt I did not deserve to live, I could not do that to her. Long story how I made my way to the hospital but was fixed up and eventually went back to work and life as I knew it. Move forward 30 years. I now have 3 children of my own. Two of them in their early 20's and a 2yo baby. Although I started seeking God (or He started calling me!) when my first child was born over twenty years ago, it was really only five or six years ago I had an encounter with our living God. The more I know Him the more I love Him. Jesus is now real and not just a name I heard in Christmas carols. Each day I have a deeper understanding of what He did for me on the cross. I feel I could live a thousand lifetimes and never fully appreciate how deep His love for us is but I love the feeling of falling deeper in to Him each day. It's never complete, it's a journey that surprises me and amazes me every day. I have lived my whole adult life with a scar on my wrist that reminded me of my shame. About three years ago I had it covered with a small tattoo of the Christian fish symbol. Jesus has covered my shame and I am free. The scar I used to hide I now want people to see because I want them to ask me what the symbol means. And when they ask I will not tell them a story of shame. But a story of love and forgiveness and freedom.

Posted in December 2021


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