The first time I attended Church was Christmas 2011. My fiancée, now wife, attended the Mother and Toddlers group at the Church and our son was to take part in the Nativity. I was dragged along by my partner and we attended the service.
At the beginning of the following January I was persuaded to attend the Family Fun Night that they were having, and myself, my partner and the Children went. We had a great time, it was fun relaxed and I felt instantly included.
The feeling of inclusion was a new one for me. I am naturally a very shy, introverted person and I usually feel uncomfortable in new places where I hardly know anyone, so to go the Church, full of new people and feel comfortable was a new experience and I can say that I have never felt uncomfortable in my regular Church or any other.
That night after we had got home from the Family Fun night I picked up my tablet and downloaded the Bible and started reading at Genesis. I promptly stopped reading the Bible and put it back down (a tip for anyone about to read the Bible for the first time, do not start with Genesis it will scare you off, start with the Gospels, preferably Mark) and we on attending a Sunday Service.
Well we attended one and we have been going regularly since then. I have also attended an Alpha Course, continued reading the bible and numerous other books on Christianity. My knowledge on Theology was growing, my knowledge of the Church and Christianity was improving and I was making good progress but I was still hit with doubt.
I had never had a ‘Damascus-moment’, a flash of light or heard the voice of God. My belief and faith had grown slowly over the past year as I attended Church and read the Bible and other books and because of this I felt like I had been missing out, like I wasn’t a ‘proper Christian’.
Then I thought back through the past year and a bit and I realised I had felt God. It was on an evening in the April after I first attended Church and I was sat in the hallway of my house, my kids were going to sleep in their rooms and I was doing the sleep training exercise where you move a bit further away each night and I had made it to the hallway and as I was sat there waiting for them to drift off I put my head down and prayed.
I prayed for God to let me know I was on the right track. I prayed thanks to God for bringing me into the Church and then I asked Him to help keep me motivated and show me that I am doing things right. As I sat there praying I realised that I felt lighter than I had before, I felt like a weight had been taken for me. I never realised that I was carrying a weight before this moment and it was only when it had gone did I notice it.
I believe with all my heart that it was God showing me at the moment what it is like to be in his presence, it is light and peace, and I would love to say that I felt that wonderful feeling for the rest of my life but, alas, we are people of the world and problems and stress and tiredness have made the feeling disappear but I know that when I am alone and deep in prayer that feeling will come back.
So that is my testimony, what yours?