"Are You really there, God?" I remember asking the sky above my head when I was a young girl. "And if You are there, can You see me? Do You
know who I am? Can You see me?" I had a quest somewhere inside me, to know
if God existed, and if He cared. I began attending the village church in
order to find Him (if He in fact existed at all...). My big 'thing' was my consciousness of my sin. I was young, but try as I did I couldn't be good.
I argued and fought with my sister constantly, I was mean to her,
I was a bully. I had murderous thoughts on occasion when she drove me to rage. I was
afraid and constantly aware of these nasty feelings within me. Going to church and saying the prayers, learning the liturgy, taking part, all was to
no avail. Every week after praying the repentance prayers ardently,
ten minutes later on my way home having prayed so hard for change, I found myself
fighting again with my sister, often arriving home before her in abject frustration and misery. Don't try to tell me a child doesn't know what sin is.
I was very much aware of its work and presence in my life.
Above the Chancel in the Church was a fantastic painting, and it is still there to this day. (Aberford village church, near Tadcaster,
loved the painting and stared at it for hours during the services. The painting was of the crucifixion. I looked at the One on the cross, and wondered
in my heart, "Did that really happen? and, "Was it for me?" I longed to know the answers, I longed to know if He was real. In order to find
answers I took confirmation classes, I tried hard to be good. I looked forward to the great day of my
confirmation with eagerness, having been taught that I would receive the holy Spirit when the Bishop put his hand on my head and prayed.
The day came along with the white dress and more importantly, my eager heart. During the service, the then Archbishop of York, Michael Ramsey
did in fact pray for me, his hand resting lightly on my head. I waited, with bated breath, for the expected spiritual experience - but nothing. I returned
to my seat in church an extremely disappointed and disenchanted girl. This, of course was no reflection of him! I was on a quest. In point of fact, he
preached an amazing sermon which has stayed with me until this day. He kept saying
"Look in the right direction" Hopefully, - for the most part anyway - I have kept those words and they have stood me in good stead over the years.
Sadly, this experience left me feeling depressed and disillusioned with God.
A few years after these experiences I left home to live in Scarborough to train to be a teacher. I began to take
communion each Sunday morning at the village church down the road on North Cliff. This went on for a few months but after a while I noticed a change in
my attitude. I had become so disollusioned I turned cynical. WAS there in fact a God at all? If He was real, why hadn't He revealed Himself to me?
After all, 'I had done my part' in trying to find Him! I became unbelieving, and, I am ashamed to say, became an atheist. I no longer believed in Him at
I began to fill my life with activities, sport, hiking, dancing, boyfriends, my studies etc. I forgot all about my quest, I no longer cared.
For my studies during the holidays I had to observe a small child and make notes on him to learn about the importance of play in a child's development.
The only small child I had any proximity to was a small cousin. My Uncle and Aunt lived in Loughborough in the Midlands, and I travelled down there in order
to spend a few days 'studying' David. My Uncle amazed me with a strange question. "What do you think about Jesus, Syl?(my name back then) I can remember
my answer: "If He was real, and that was highly unlikely and if He was walking on this planet, I would follow Him".
My Uncle replied to that comment, but I cannot remember what he said.
Frustratingly, each evening I would be invited to 'pray with us' before retiring to bed. This entailed kneeling down in the Lounge and praying. I only
listened, being an atheist. I couldn't understand their prayers as they were talking to someone they thought was there and who I knew (in my opinion)
did not exist. However, they did seem to have a degree of intimacy with this being they communicated with, a fact that I, in my unregenerate state could
not fathom at all, but had to acknowledge. Had I been wrong to dismiss Jesus out of hand? The last but one day arrived, and I was to depart back
to College on the morrow. Alan took me aside and stated "You know, Syl,
all that divides
you from Jesus is your sin! First, you need to believe in Him, accept that He died for you, then ask Him to forgive all your sins,
and ask Him to reveal Himself to you, He will! And what's more, He will fill you with His holy Sprit, like it says in the Bible!" I was amazed.
No-one had ever told
me this before. "You mean, all I have to do is ask Him? and if so, how do I do that?" as asked. Alan told me to talk to Him respectfully, but just as
I would talk to anyone. I began to think about it during the afternoon, and at one point sneaked upstairs, knelt by my bed and prayed "Jesus, I know I
haven't been believing in You for a while, but I am ready to give it another go if You are in fact there! I believe that the
picture I saw in Church may be real, and that You did in fact die for me. Sorry for not believing, if You are in fact there, please forgive my sins and
become real to me, I would still love to have a relationship with You." During that evening and through the next, last day, I found myself
repeating this exercise a number of times.
The last night before my departure arrived, and I knelt as usual with them to listen to their prayers. I thought
about nothing, and surprising myself, after they retired to the kitchen to make a nightcap, I found I still knelt there, on my own. This is when the
life - changing miracle occurred.
I began to feel extremely elated and happy, a tremendous love enfolded me. I cried out "He's here, in the room!" I called. "Alan,
Dorothy, I can
feel Jesus! I can feel His love all around me and in me!" They rushed into the room, faces shining with delight and joy. I won't say too much more about
the experience, but it changed my life. Jesus changed my life. His Presence came and changed me forever. This was almost sixty years ago, and my relationship
with Him has just
got better and more wonderful through time and through all the wonderful sequels to this experience since. Needless to say, I am a changed person. I no
longer doubt His existence, He means everything to me. He has healed me through and through, given me victory over problems, and healed
relationships (yes, and my relationship with my sister!). He has brought happiness and joy and fulfilment to my life. The scriptures state "The world
itself could not contain the books which should be written about Him!" How true that is. He loves us, and seeks for a relationship with each one of us
no matter who we are. I encourage you to follow these few simple steps, and find out for yourself how real and wonderful He is, and experience His love
To find Yahshua for yourself.
1. Believe that Yahshua (Jesus) is the Son of God (YHWH Yahweh)
2. Believe that YHWH sent Him to die for your sins (all the wrong thoughts and deeds in your life past and present)
3. Pray this prayer, from your heart. Believe that He is listening and that He will answer, simply because He loves you:
Yahshua (Jesus) I believe in You. I believe You are the Son of God/Yahweh and that You came to this earth to save me, and grant me Eternal Life.
I am sorry
for my sin which caused you to die on the cross/tree of Calvary for me, and I accept Your sacrifice for me.
I need You in my life. Please come into my life right now and become real to me. I give
my life to You today. Please help me to walk in Your ways. Amen.
Now get to know Him by reading His Word, the Bible. Begin by reading about Him in the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John....and perhaps find a group of
believers who also know Him (if you need help in this, we may be able to help,