Ever since I was a teenager I had been curious about God but the prospect of walking into a church by myself was SO daunting. Then one year, when I was 20 I actually wrote down my new year resolutions and one of them was “become Christian”. So I stalked down one of my friends Facebook photos of a Christian band she had been to see in concert like 10 months ago and tried to casually slide in – not very well – “do you go to church and can I come with you”. Bless her, she didn’t say anything but ‘of course’. When I walked in it was like NOTHING I was expecting, I’d only ever thought of old Catholic churches but this was modern, it had a great atmosphere and the music was amazing, I was blown away and thought yep, this is it, this is for me. Now I’m quiet shy and naturally would just slink away after the service but my dear friend Lauren, well I would use the word pounced. She pounced on me haha. And thank God for that because she made me feel so welcome and so part of the community which apart from God, is the best thing about church. I’ve just moved halfway around the world but I automatically belong to a community here.
So this brings me to the second part of my testimony. Everyone who really knows us knows I had Belle by myself out of an abusive relationship when I was 16 (I must add, I recently saw him for the first time in years and he seems like a changed man, praise God) but that was a really scary situation for me, I just wanted to protect Isabelle but our laws in Australia are so 50/50 and I had no proof of anything. It was terrifying for me for a good few years. So my pastor and two of my friends were praying over me one time and I heard God clearly speak to me – I never even knew that could actually happen but it’s totally normal and totally a good thing – and he said not to worry, he had me and Isabelle by the hand and he was never letting go. I didn’t quiet know how to interpret that but it gave me comfort in tough times in the years ahead. Fast forward and now I’m married to Tom, we have the two girls and we just want a bit of freedom. But this mans name is on Belle’s birth certificate so we can do nothing without his permission and we were getting nowhere (but broker haha). Then out of the blue I got a phone call from our lawyer saying he had agreed to EVERYTHING, even granting me sole parental responsibility. It was a miraclethat I am so grateful for to this day. This hasn’t just given Belle the right to be an Ahern or have a passport, but it was *freedom* from those chains we were in for years. God had this plan long ago, he promised me years ago he would look after us and he did which is so amazing to me that it was years in the making. It was so hard being separated from Tom for 5 months but I remembered God’s promise and I could see Him so clearly working, all I could do was trust him. And he’s been even better to us than I could have hoped for.
So to sum it up, if you’re even mildly curious about church, just go. There will be people there specifically to welcome you which is awesome especially if you’re socially awkward like me 🙋🏻 (just try and make sure it’s a good church and not one of the whacky ones). And secondly, God has plans and promises for us, there are hundreds of promises in the bible which is HIS word, but he has them for us individually too. Trust in him, listen to him. God is so good. I got chills when I discovered this psalm (37:23-24) “The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”