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Church was just somewhere I went because my parents did. I enjoyed the youth group each Sunday evening playing silly games, eating food and a listening to a talk I could understand. But overall, church for me was boring. That was until a group of American Christians came and did our school assembly and invited us to a local church. I went, because the boys were cute!
But that service changed me. I thought there had to be more to church than I’d experienced as these people were excited about something. My life started to change as I heard about Jesus being more like a friend.
When I was about 10 I started dreaming of being in a band.
Having seen countless videos where loud guitars blasted out of huge stages to seemingly endless seas of ecstatic fans, this dream promised a freedom and liberation from the world I knew, one that would transcend the view of my bedroom window and set my life apart from the boring normality everyone else was destined for.
You can imagine then after years of pursuing rock stardom, when I was urgently asked to join a band due to support Alice Cooper all around Europe, and would mean leaving the next week…
On January 5th 2008 I woke up in the pitch black knowing instantly that something was very wrong. I turned to my husband Darren and told him my leg felt strange and could he rub it? Ha ha - no, it wasn’t a come on! He immediately sat up to look at me and reached for the phone, I heard him say he needed an ambulance as unbeknown to me, I was slurring my words so much it I was hard to understand. I’d had a stroke.
I was 42, never smoked, hardly drank, normal blood pressure, and normal weight. The ambulance took me to QMC Emergency department where a scan confirmed what everyone could see.
As a small child I've always believed in God. I used to take myself off to Sunday school just down the street from where we lived because all I ever remember from my childhood is mum and dad arguing. Dad would get drunk and beat my mum up on a regular basis.
More and more, at every opportunity I got, I’d escape from the mayhem by going to the church where this kind old lady there took me under her wing. There I felt secure, loved and had the attention I so craved for at home where I was one of eight children.
From when I was born my parents took me to church with them every Sunday along with my brother and sister.
So up until around the age of 12/13 I was pretty enthusiastic about God, in fact it was on a weekend away with Trent Vineyard church that I decided to dedicate my life to God.
I remember being on the phone to my mum that night, in tears because I was so happy about the decision I had made, so from that day on I knew that everything I had learned in church was true.
My life before Jesus was not too bad in the eyes of most people. Yeah I had a family, rather broken, but easy to make it look different! My parents divorced when I was nine years old... sadly, an age where I was old enough to know what was cracking off.
Due to my lack of a fatherly figure and a catastrophic amount of emotional pain I hid it all inside. I hated all faiths and religion. a. It was nonsense and b. It causes death and wars! My release was to play football. It was my obsession, my God! I sacrificed my school grades to be a quality footballer.
Hi, my name is Chris and I want to tell you something about my life. It didn’t start too well because at the age of four my mum died of cancer. My next door neighbours whom I called aunty and uncle used to look after me as my Dad worked away.
By the time I was eight my aunty had introduced me to a Baptist church. She took me in the morning and the evening. Eventually I went to a children’s meeting on a Thursday night called Christian Endeavour. It was here I started to really learn about Jesus. I went every week and enjoyed it.