Kathy shared her testimony at the Women's evening in January and inspired many women at St George's. This incredible journey with God through her life can inspire many more.
I realised early on in my Christian life that I struggled with God as my father. Also, issues with tears and feelings of low self-esteem cropped up regularly. There were usually people around to pray with me and God began to address some of the issues that were bound up with my childhood. I had grown up with a fear of failure and I realised that I often tried to earn God’s love.
As I began to unpack some of these areas through prayer and over many years, I have found release and freedom – I have learnt that it is fine to cry and I have been able to see it as a gift in recent years. I didn’t seek things out about the past, but I learnt to read the signs that meant I needed to take some time out to pray and get someone else to pray with me. Often I would be moved by songs that we sung about God as our father. I wanted to cry as I felt a deep longing inside to know this father.
The most important thing for me was encountering the Holy Spirit. Before then I had been trying so hard to be a Christian in my own strength (and trying to earn God’s love). Meeting the Holy Spirit blew my mind and transformed my life literally. Knowing that we have a God who loves us, heals us and interacts with us today is amazing!
God’s healing has taken time and couldn’t have happened all at once. Last year was difficult at times- my dad was really ill and almost died, my daughter was ill and taken in hospital quite suddenly and my job was very stressful, leaving me feeling that I’d failed. Even so, I was able to take all that to God, with the help of others, and leave those feelings of inadequacy with Him and He brought me back to the place where I know I am loved and I know I am valued. My value is found only in Him and not in what I do – and He still needs to remind me of that.
This past few months God has really made me aware of where I was when He found me and where He has brought me. He has reminded me of the healing that He has done and how I have a much different relationship with Him now than even ten years ago. I know He is my Father in a deeper way and I know that in my head and deep in my heart – not just a fleeting feeling of being loved, but a deep knowledge and feeling of security. I was reminded of one verse among many that were given to me a long time ago – from Joel 2 v. 25 :
“I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten” – a word that I felt was a promise about 15 years ago. I really feel that God has honoured this and He has given me the security I longed for from being a child. Also, my relationship with my earthly father has changed as I have changed. I am more sensitive to him and, even though I have never spoken to him about this journey, our relationship is different and better.
I have learnt that we have a God who heals but in His own time. Some things He heals quickly but others need time in order for full and deep healing to take place – it’s a journey and He wants the best for us.