Rachel's Testimony ...
I was born and raised on the east coast of England, near the beautiful medieval city of Norwich.
Every Sunday, my four siblings and I would pile in the car with my parents to attend the Gospel Hall, a small chapel, in the village where we lived.
Sundays always had a routine different from the rest of the week. No work, housework or gardening for my parents. No homework for my siblings or me. Instead, we had communion service in the morning, Sunday school in the afternoon followed by sandwiches and tea with our church community, and an evening evangelistic service.
I found the church services long and boring.
In my teens, we moved to the city. There the church we attended had a lively youth group. We met at each others’ houses, studied the Bible together, and socialized—boating on the nearby Norfolk Broads, or visiting the fun fair at a local seaside town.
However, even though I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I had many questions—mostly about the long list of dos and don’ts a Christian had to live by. Why shouldn’t I go to the pub with my friends? Why did I have to cover my head for church on a Sunday?
I knew, on a number of occasions, God wanted me to follow Him wholeheartedly, but I preferred half-hearted. Wholehearted meant following the rules and keeping up appearances. Committing to God didn’t seem like a whole lot of fun.
I looked for answers to my questions through university, and into my working and married life.
Eventually, my husband and I found other ways to spend our Sundays. My Bible lay unopened in a drawer. I threw myself passionately into my career, enjoyed partying, and having a good time with my friends.
Then, as I made plans to take a break from my career and start a family, suddenly my life changed.
My husband accepted a job transfer to the United States.
Within months, I found myself on the other side of the pond with a newborn baby, a visa but no work visa, and not knowing a soul.
Tears would come easily. I longed to be back home in London. Desperate for help, I didn’t know where to turn.
Then I remembered God.
I hadn’t spoken to Him for years but now I pleaded from my heart: God, help me.
Immediately, peace flooded over me.
God had heard my prayer. God had responded to my prayer.
In that moment, I learned something important about my heavenly Father I had not known before.
God loved me.
I could have been angry with God, believing He had ruined my fun by bringing me into a bleak place. I could have blamed Him for the loneliness I felt with friends and family three thousand miles away. I could have resented Him for having to leave the career I loved so much.
But, God doesn’t want to destroy our lives. He wants to restore us to a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10)
My favorite verses in the Bible speak of God’s persistent love for us: All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations. (Isaiah 65:2)
This had been me. I had turned my back on God while all the time He only wanted to pour out His love in my life.
Then, when we do turn to God we find He is falling over Himself to show us love. Isaiah 65:24 says: Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
God is eager to respond to us.
God always reacts with love to each of us when we turn to Him.
My heartfelt cry led to a deep desire to know God more. I followed Him wholeheartedly to seminary, and now I obey his call on my life to encourage others to boldly believe in a God who has their best interests at heart.
Blessings Soul Friends
Rachel Britton is an author, blogger and speaker. Raised on the east coast of England, Rachel now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three college-age children. She is passionate about helping women become healthier in their relationship with God, with others, and with themselves. Rachel is author of Prayer Zone Workout: Spiritual and Physical Exercise for the Heart, and its accompanying app. She loves to walk, swim and ski. Rachel cannot live without an early morning mug of English tea or a bar of chocolate. You can connect with Rachel at www.rachelbritton.com, on Facebook and Twitter