And so I moved on, with my pastor and home group's reluctant blessing, from one church in London to another one. Church became the highlight of my week, I counted the days until Sunday, that's how much I loved church. It was vibrant and lively, full of amazing people who were crazy about Jesus. I loved the worship, the preaching, the coffee, the home groups and got involved in as much as possible. Even though I hadn't fully walked through the consequences of the previous season I was already seeing a harvest from the new seeds I had sown. If you sow financially you will reap financially, if you sow in friendships you will reap in friendship and I had grown to love some amazing friends. They took such good care of me and my girls, even though they were mostly young single people they were always mindful that I was a single mum and made a way for us to be involved in 'normal' London life. It was so much fun! We were having fun for the first time in... well since coming to the UK.
My desire to lead crept up, I didn't actively seek leadership positions but joined teams, served and ended up leading a team, serving on another team and leading and a home group. Christmas was spend with about 20 other lovely people and my home was buzzing, always filled with lovely people, parties (the good kind), prayer meetings, girl's nights, home group, BBQ's and just a full and amazing life. Church was not a Sunday thing at all! It was a 24/7 thing and it changed my life. God gave us a beautiful new three bedroom home which was like a palace compared to our studio flat. Even moving was fun, again at least 20 people got involved and we had a big party afterwards to celebrate.
One particular Sunday morning I woke up with a song stuck in my head. It was a worship song from church and as I sung it while I was getting ready for church I knew deep down inside that when we sung that song in church something BIG was going to happen. I didn't know what but I knew that something was about to happen in my life. I took a wedding photo from my first marriage with me. I was walking along the Thames River to church chatting to God about how sad I felt that I had messed up my life in the past. I said,
"Oh well God, at least you have a plan B for me."
To which I head an instant reply,
"There is no plan B, you are still on plan A."
Wow, what an amazing thought, God still had a perfect plan for my life! I walked up to the river and threw the wedding photo in whilst praying that God would help me shut the door and move on in my life. I prayed a little prayer and put that season of my life in my past. With a skip in my step I went to church. I worshiped my heart out but was a little disappointed when we sat down for the preaching as the song that I was convinced was going to trigger something big, wasn't sung. The preacher must have prepared his sermon just for me as it touched my heart so deeply. At the end of the sermon he said something like, "If you don't feel beautiful stand up." I don't recall the exact words I just remember standing up and as I stood it happened! The intro to the song started and I KNEW something was about to happen. Let me quote this part of the story from my book, Secure on the Rock:
I stood struggling to sing the words of the song but determined to get a few out. My eyes closed and my hands stretched out to heaven, I waited… then bam!
My Rescuer made his majestic appearance and reached into my chained up heart. I bent over and cried deeply and (unfortunately) loudly as He ripped all the “stuff” out of me. I began trembling and shaking a little. This was not the sort of church where this sort of thing happened; we were way to cool for emotional outbursts, so I tried to keep calm. The pastor stood up and told everyone to sit down. I couldn’t, I was frozen and could hardly control my body. After a few uncomfortable minutes I managed to sit down. Once seated I just cried and cried and cried.
My left leg started shaking uncontrollably and the rest of my body shook. People around me asked if I was alright and I motioned to them that I was fine. I saw in my mind a closed door and felt in my heart that God was saying that He had shut the door to my past. It was over, the heartache, the struggle, the pain was all over. His hand had closed the door. It wasn’t done by my will or strength; He shut it and at the exact same time, opened the door to my future.
I continued to shake and cry so the people seated around me laid hands on me as God continued to work in me. He told me that He had shut the door on my past; everything I was struggling with up to that point was behind that closed door now, never to be opened again. This was a fresh start, a clean slate, a totally new beginning! The shaking got less and all I could say was “Thank you Jesus”. I kept on saying this until the shaking and crying stopped.
I knew something life changing had just occurred. He touched me, He gave me the breakthrough that I have cried out to Him for, fasted for, prayed for and begged for. He gave me a breakthrough in my heart and I knew I would never be the same again.
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." - John 8:36