I was privileged to have wonderful God-fearing parents. I came from generations of church-going Catholics on both sides of my family. They bought me up to love and respect the ways of God.
All through my formation years, I walked with God, but what was lacking in my life was a personal relationship with Christ Jesus. I was a rebellious teenager with lots of insecurities, hang-ups, and feelings of self-consciousness. I tended to bottle things up and was too proud to share my weaknesses often suffering from bouts of depression.
My teenage fleshly ambitions and aim in life were to be independent, to be in control, and to make something of my life.
What a mess I made.
My lovely parish priest always said:
‘If you want the Lord to have a good laugh, tell him your plans’,
I attended church but more out of a sense of duty- I was too busy having a good time!
My precious mum would often quote to me a line from a sixties song that said:
‘When I think of all the good times I have wasted having good times!’
When we seek God we will always be found
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Inside me was a God shaped hole, and only God could fill it. Our hearts will not rest until we rest in his heart. (St Augustine)
I was searching, but what for?
Every morning I wanted my life to get to a certain point, but what point?
I was aware that I was ‘Wishing my life away’.
Even though I was a church-going Catholic there was still a piece of my jigsaw missing and that piece was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I cried out to the Lord and He answered my prayers. A few months later a friend took me along to a ‘Woman Aglow’ meeting in my local town where I was dynamited into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Aglow meetings bring women of all Christian denominations together for the purpose of fellowship and renewal.
The ladies lifted their hand in praise and worship, they also sang in tongues,
Ephesians 5:19 – 20
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 2 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It seemed so alien to me, as I had never witnessed this type of worship before and initially I felt uncomfortable with it.
After the praise and worship session a lady got up to speak and although I wasn’t really taking in what she was saying my spirit was so listening. After the talk, they asked people to come forward for prayer and I felt myself going forward, but wondering what I was doing there. A team member asked me if I wanted to invite the Holy Spirit into my life, and I remember thinking I have him in my life through my baptism and confirmation.
And yes, I had the Holy Spirit, but at that stage of my life, the Holy Spirit didn’t have me!
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit
I agreed to be prayed with, as hands were placed upon me I felt a surge of electricity come into me, I fell on to the floor (slain in the Spirit) and I went to heaven chronologically for 20/30 minutes but spiritually much longer.
Jesus met me at the point of my need. It was like every good feeling and experience I had ever had all coming together, then being multiplied into a feeling of heavenly ecstasy. I was aware that I was laughing and crying, but there were none of the old self-conscious feelings that I had lived with throughout my life.
It was a face to face encounter with the reality, holiness, and the power of God. I was also aware in this awesome place of the presence of my heavenly family. Something within me knew that it was my turn to run the Godly race; it was like being handed a baton to serve my God in my generation.
Eventually, I came back down to earth, sat up and I found it difficult to come to terms with what had happened to me. I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire, my ‘gift of everything’. And I would never ever be the same again. Before this experience, I was a shy person but afterwards, that disappeared and I was given a godly boldness to proclaim the Gospel and give witness to others.
Jesus was the only one who could come into my life and heal the emptiness and the searching.
What a caterpillar calls the end of its life, the master calls a butterfly
A metamorphosis had taken place and I entered into the Pentecost experience (Acts 2)
John said “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Everything was in place through my baptism as a child. Everything I had received in the past through my baptism and confirmation got switched on at the Aglow meeting.
The only way that I can describe it is if you buy a top of the range carpet cleaner, regards of how all ‘singing and dancing’ it is nothing happens until you plug it into the power source.
Or another example: if you visit Blackpool illuminations in the U.K. without the power source there would be no show of light and illumination.
All that happened over 31 years ago, and it has been, and continues to be a magnificent journey.
During this time I have seen thousands of people released into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – each one is different: some come on a slow boat to China, some on roller skates, and I came on a rocket! Dynamited in!
I soon realised that The Lord had given me gifts to serve others.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11
‘Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant’ There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
Some of the first gifts to manifest within me were the gift of Godly dreams and visions. In the early days, it was a lonely gift as very few people moved in these giftings. Now it’s different as we enter into the prophecy of: Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 – 18 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your young men will see visions, Your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, And they will prophesy”
I feel my role is one of equipping others to serve in the kingdom.
Through a Godly dream, the Lord gave me audibly my mission statement to ‘Increase Heaven and decrease Hell’
The Lord also told me that he will open the doors that he wants me to go through. I must not open any doors myself for ‘what he opens he will maintain’, but whatever I open up in my own strength I will have to maintain myself and I haven’t got what it takes to do that.
Revelation 3:7 What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
So I leave my appointment book on reception in heaven and he fills it!
I just love the role the Lord has given to me, and when you love what you do with a passion you never class it as work.
The good Lord takes me to many places on my journey and it never ceases to amaze me the many healings and miracles that I witness, not just in others but in myself too.
Pope John Paul II said once at Easter Time:
‘Conversion never takes place once and for all, but is a process, an interior journey of our whole life’.
I am saved, I will be saved, and I keep on being saved.
All that matters is that Jesus matters
“Not by power, not by strength, but by my Spirit’ says the Lord”,
I continue to have an overwhelming passion for Jesus and hope to serve Him in whatever way he decides for the rest of my life, and beyond.