It is said that a picture can speak a thousand words…so with that in mind I have created a collage of my growing up years:
God knew me while he formed me in my mother’s womb, and that applies to us all!! God has a plan for all our lives to transform us into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.
Born in the 1950’s to working class parents I was brought up in a council house on one of the newly built council estates in the beautiful English countryside. The government of the day were working hard to improve the lives of the working classes.
We had a spinster aunt who lived with us, caring for us and doing the household work and cooking; both my parents worked hard to provide a better lifestyle for us than that of their generation. My parents were not in any way Christians or Church goers, however we were introduced to a form of mystic spirituality from an early age. Aunty took us with her when she visited a faith healer for the laying on of hands and prayer. She told us that God had healed her of cancer. Myself and my two sisters were taught to say our prayers (The Lord’s Prayer) every night before going to sleep, I can still remember rushing through it in my mind night after night.
Perhaps because of this I went every sunday until age 13 to church (Sunday School) where I was due to be confirmed; that never happened though as one day I decided I didn’t want to go anymore. I was therefore very shocked when a few weeks later the vicar actually visited us, at our house and asked my mother why I had stopped going to Church; years later when I became a born again Christian that vicars action spoke deeply to my hardened heart. It spoke of God’s deep, real, and amazing love for me.
As a family we always had a caravan or guest house holiday once a year, at the seaside; this was always eagerly anticipated as we were brought lots of new clothes to take with us. Caravans in those early days were a far cry from today’s; and I can actually remember in one we had to light gas mantle lights, in today’s health and safety culture that would never be allowed!!
My Sisters and I grew up playing board games, our favourite being Monopoly, we could spend hours buying and selling our pretend houses.
In the 60’s the dreaded 11 plus exam was compulsory, sadly for me I failed and so was sent to what was known in those days as a Secondary School, this was a school below the grammar schools of the day; Here the emphasis was more on practical subjects such as sewing (where I learnt to make all my own clothes) and cookery for the girls; woodwork and carpentry for the boys; it was here my love of cooking first appeared, I learnt to make scones and pastries, I also took an ‘O’ level exam in the subject and passed with an A. Fortunately for me being considered fairly intelligent I was allowed to take ‘O’ levels, which in the 60’s and 70’s was a very important qualification and consequently enabled me to start work in my teens in an office; in those days office work was considered to be a step up the work ladder!! from shop or factory work.
I was a very shy child, however inside me was a deep passion for life and it was for that reason that I involved myself in many activities; girl guides dance classes and amateur theatre. I was also very good at jumping long distances and for that reason had the privilege of representing our junior school in the county’s sports competitions. I was also part of the schools netball team, a game which I really enjoyed and enabled me to burn off some of my growing energy and lust for life.
In the 60’s the pop groups, the wonderful invention of records, transistor radios, pirate radio stations, fashion groups (mods and rockers) and easy access to cheaper clothing make-up fashion accessories and sex (the introduction to the masses of the contraceptive pill) made our generation iconic:
I left School at age 16 and began working in my first office job for an insurance company.It was here I met my future husband.
At age 35 I had a Damascus road experience in an Anglican country church. The four parts of the collage above reflect areas of my life: Jesus left the 99 sheep in the sheepfold and personally found and rescued me: I now live for Jesus Christ and him alone: My shattered life mattered to God he took the pieces and made a beautiful mosaic from the ruins…..this mosaic is made from the collage of my pictures at the top of this page: Now I am free to love and serve the risen lord as shown in the last of the four parts: If your life has any shattered areas remember this……God can take the pieces and make something beautiful.