Confidence through God
I was brought up in a Christian family and was taken to church every week. At the age of eleven, I was confirmed and although perhaps I was too young to make that commitment, I still go back to the many things our Rector taught us during our confirmation classes. During my teenage years I found playing sports more appealing than going to church.
In my early twenties when I felt there was something missing in my life, I started attending St Mary’s Ecclesfield and began to learn more about God’s love. My faith gradually became stronger and I learnt much from the teaching, house groups and the people who encouraged and supported me.
I met Peter, soon after I moved to Ecclesfield and after several years we decided to get married. Sadly, this coincided with return of my mum’s cancer, after several years in remission. The week before we were married, she was taken into Weston Park Hospital to undergo experimental treatment. She was extremely ill and often not lucid. During that time she opened her eyes and said to my dad ‘God is in all of this’. She died a couple of days later, the night before we were married.
On reflection, my mum gave me the greatest gift anyone could give me - the sure and certain hope that no matter how bad things get or what people have to suffer, God is in there in all the pain and mess of humanity. We can’t always understand the mystery of God – but we can know He is always there with us.
After I had been on the PCC for several years, I was asked if I would like to stand for churchwarden. Although I felt very honoured, I wasn’t sure I had the right skills especially because I am naturally very shy. Having prayed about it – I was sure it was what God wanted for me at that time. After a difficult start, I was surprised how I was able to do things I never thought possible.
In 2006, the PCC began arranging a mission for 2007 with Bishop Jack. One of the things he talked about was visiting all the houses in the parish to knock on the door and personally deliver a leaflet. As I listened to him, I thought though it sounded like my worst nightmare – even I could do it. After several months of prayer and heart searching I decided to give up my role as churchwarden, which I loved, to concentrate planning for the mission. I was asked to organise the visiting. It was then I realised that God never asks you to do anything which is beyond your abilities. I admit to being very apprehensive when I first went visiting – but, in the main, it turned out to be a time of great joy and encouragement. I never expected to actually enjoy it, but I knew God had given me to confidence and courage. The ten days of the mission were one of the best experiences of my life – I felt so alive and close to God. Two and a half years on, yes it has changed my life – but I am still discerning how and what it means for my future journey.
I am now Lay Chair of Ecclesfield Deanery, something I could not have imagined doing even two years ago. Through all these roles, my faith has not only deepened, but I have learnt so much about myself and my relationship with God. Most importantly, I have more confidence in myself through God as I am now sure that nothing is impossible with God.
Listen to Kath telling her story below.