In 2016 I had the opportunity to share my story at Shed for Men, organised by Alan Sherlock. As a child of a dysfunctional and broken home I was close to becoming another statistic. I was failing at school, lonely, bitter and angry. Then Christ came into my life when I read about him in the Gospel of John (in the Bible). I realised then that he came to have compassion on the broken – on the outcasts of society. He offered me his presence, friendship and forgiveness in my life. Out of gratitude I began to learn and live my life according to Christ’s teachings. Before I was focused inwardly; I lived for me, I took, I was greedy, I was malicious and I was largely uncaring of anyone in my life. Christ taught me that it is better to give than to receive and better to serve than be served. Specifically I learned to change by training as a State Enrolled Nurse. I grew in my ability to care for people, both physically and emotionally. I cared for patients who were at times horribly behaved, much like I used to be. It was hard exercising self-control and patience when being abused both physically and verbally. Having to love the unlovely helped me mature and it prepared me for some hard trials, especially those related to being married and raising a family.
Becoming a follower of Christ didn’t change any of my circumstances at the time. My parents were still divorced and I was still messed up, however Christ changed my bearings from inward to outward, from taking to giving, from hating to caring. I’ve lived with the confidence that no matter how badly I fail nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ. His mercy and grace are solid. No matter what kind of past you have or what you are enduring right now, whether or not you can see any hope for your future, let me encourage you to cry out to Christ, to invite him into your life and to follow him. My life has not been easy but I have loved my life; I’ve had a life that would have been out of reach without Christ and the new bearing he gave me.