mandy's testimony

Mandy and ColinMy upbringing… Mum and Dad's relationship was full of arguments and violence. They separated when I was ten. My dad then moved to live in Cyprus where I visited him once a year, mixed emotions when he went, of relief, rejection and abandonment. My Grandad who was the closest person to me, as a Dad was everything to me and gave me so much love and affection he got me through life and was always there for me through bad and good times. He was my comforter when I was younger but he died very suddenly from a massive heart attack when I was 15. My world fell apart, once again I felt abandoned, my Mum was having a hard time too of things and my Nan was there for her but it was my Granddad that kept things together for me and now he was gone. I felt such a huge gap inside of me such a feeling of emptiness. So one way I found of filling that gap was relationships. I just wanted to feel loved again but even though I knew my Mum and Nan loved me it was not the same as a male loving me, and now I had lost my Dad and now my Granddad so relationship with guys were then my replacement.


Relationships… So I had a couple that I thought was love at the time but they both ended it with me so each time that gap returned. Then I met my ex when I was 18 - it was not a good relationship from the start. Both of us were broken people who wanted to be loved so we would fight to receive the love that would give us that quick fix but we were so focused on receiving the love rather than giving it, so there was nothing but problems. We were in a financial mess we had three kids, everything was a mess… I felt so empty inside…


Finding Christ… My daughter's friend's Mum approached me one day. I was in a really bad way and feeling very desperate in my situation. She invited me to a women’s group at a church which I thought was an answer to prayer as I was looking for somewhere to go to get some support and a way of changing my life… so I went one Tuesday of October 2004 and met with a bunch of women drinking tea and eating cake and moaning about life and kids driving them mad etc. and I just thought wow these people are normal… there was bible teachings and talks of a man called Jesus and there was pray. It was all a bit out of my comfort zone but one thing I remember is I felt such peace and wanted that feeling to stay. I could not wait to go back the following week for more of the same feeling. I just felt loved there and I know now that was because a presence called the Holy Spirit was there in the room with us. I was taught that Jesus wants to set us free from all the horrible stuff that has happened to us, to be free of pain and brokenness and guilt and shame and many more things that I had felt for so many years and that is why he died for us on the cross. I wanted to be free from all those feelings so I said a prayer which I was told to say and asked Jesus into my life and then four months later I was baptised in water. As I came up from the water a whole sense of newness came over me and a hope of beginning, a new life with God by my side. I became a born again Christian and it was the start of my new life. Changing the way I lived, the way I saw myself, a change of attitude, finding my self-worth, my significance and my security and most importantly, finally finding that missing thing to fill that gap that I had for so many years and that thing was a person called Jesus. I did not care that I could not see him in the flesh, we can’t see the wind but we know it’s there and believe it’s there as we can feel it, well I know Jesus is there as I now feel Jesus there with me and inside me and I believe in him too and it really has set me free. Life did not change overnight and there was plenty of battles but I did not feel alone and I was stronger to cope with them. So much has happened In the last 8 yrs. I finally got divorced, I was on my own for a while with my three kids and it was hard and there were struggles but thanks to God and my church family who supported me and stood with me and my own family it gave me the strength to cope with those hard times. I kept hold of the hope in God that things would change and get better. I was reading my Bible which is full of God's truth about how he wants us to have life in abundance and that everything works out for good for those who love him and God kept his promise to me.  I’m now remarried to the right person that God intended me to be with, I’m financially blessed, my home life has been restored and most importantly I have been restored and healed from past hurts.  I have forgiven and I have been forgiven and I am now free to live the life that God intended for me before I went off and made wrong choices due to my circumstances from a young child. I just really encourage and dare you to be open to God and to see what happens for yourself…