Back to my church story and this part is a really happy part of the story 🙂 It comes after the terrible mess I made of my life, after my first marriage failed due to my stupidity and after I moved away from Crawley London to start over with my girls. Just a quick glimpse into the low point so that you can appreciate how high the highs were. This is an extract from my very first book, Hope’s Journey.
“During a very dark and confusing season, when I was living a shameful lifestyle and going through a divorce, God spoke to me. I was sitting in the hallway drinking wine and crying my heart out. Sadness, confusion, helplessness and total aloneness was closing in on me. The razor blade was already bloody as I had attempted to hack into my wrists. Pain consumed me as life had become completely unliveable!
Whilst I sat there crying in agonising pain, I cried out to God to help me. I said that I didn’t want to live anymore and couldn’t see any way forward except to keep trying to hit a vein on my wrist. Then I heard this voice in my heart that said;
“Angela, the next cut on your wrist will do the job. If you cut again you will die. Is this what you want? It is your choice but I am warning you that the next cut is your final one. What do you want?”
I quickly sobered up as I realised the reality of my situation. Lorah and Jordan’s faces flashed before me in my mind and I realised how much my death would hurt them. It would have been very selfish to leave them that way. Nevertheless, the urge to die was still strong. I sat there contemplating the consequences of leaving my children in this manner and cried the deepest cry I have ever cried and said to God;
“I want to live but I don’t know how to, please help me!”
The following day I started to rebuild my life. “
It is from here that I pick up and of course the first thing I had to do was find a church. I did this before I found a home or a job. I knew church was the most important part of rebuilding my life. Even though I had to walk out the consequences of my bad choices I was excited because I knew that God was with me. He didn’t take away the pain but He gave me peace, He didn’t remove the consequences but He gave me keys to walk them out and finally He showed me that even though I was reaping the consequences of what I had sown I was to sow new seeds so that the next season would offer a better harvest. So this is what I did, in the midst of the pain of rebuilding a new life for my girls and I, I sowed new seeds. I read my Bible each day, prayed to my God, joined a church, joined a home group and made myself accountable. Within ten days of moving to London I had two job offers for a great job! God told me to chose either and He would bless me. I then found a lovely little home for our fresh start which God miraculously provided for me. It was impossible to secure a tenancy agreement in my situation with no employment history, no savings for a deposit, no references and two little children. The first miracle was that the landlord agreed to me staying in his property, the second miracle was how the church helped me financially so I could pay the deposit and buy food as I had not started my new job yet. From that point I lived on miracles! I could write an entire book of all that God did and how he provided that year.
I felt alive and well for the first time ever! God spoke to me loud and clear and guided me every step of the way. I never felt that being a single mother was difficult because we were place in a lovely church family where everyone chipped in and my girls were being raised and provided for not only by me but by about 12 other lovely people too! It was incredible and we were blessed and our cup was running over. Yes there were still things I was working out, mistakes I was making and a mess I was still cleaning up with God’s help but I always had someone at the end of my phone to talk to, a counsellor who was patiently walking with me from brokenness to wholeness and some wonderful friends who helped in so many ways. I was finding freedom and joy in my new church family.
“God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.” – Psalm 68:6