Meet the people: here's Karen's story

Meet Karen, a member of St Laurence Church, with her two sons.

Here's her story:

At the time I could not tell you why I found myself standing outside the church on a Sunday morning, one hand on the door handle, the other holding my 2 year old son, unsure whether to go inside or go home. On setting foot inside, my first words to Brian who greeted me were

‘ I’m not sure that I’m staying ‘…….. but stay I did.

I began to find myself sitting in church regularly after that, talking to God…….actually that’s not quite true. The reality was that I was shouting at God with such rage and pain and asking him why he hadn’t answered my anguished prayers.

You see, at that time 7 years ago tragedy had recently struck my happy little family when my beloved husband lost his courageous battle to cancer. I was in turmoil and without any direction… I was truly lost and abandoned… or so I thought. During one of my tirades sitting in the pews I felt a hand on my arm. It was Vicar Vivien. She gently offered me a coffee in the vicarage and it was at that moment that my journey with Christ really began. Over the many weeks that followed I had coffee (not tea) with the vicar. I asked many difficult questions about God, life, love and the universe. The meetings became important to me as I began to make sense of my new world and the prayers that concluded the meetings gave me a tangible sense of comfort. It was as though the void that had been caused by grief was slowly being filled.

A curiosity was sparked within me, a desire to learn more about the life of Jesus, reading and understanding scripture, how to make my developing faith relevant in my daily life. I even started to talk openly to any one who would listen about how great church was !

As a child I was lucky to have been raised in the context of a Christian tradition by my parents. I was baptized, then confirmed and even sang in the church choir. I was married in church, but then spent years building a life that my faith was fitted in to when I had time, which wasn’t often.  I realise now that I live my life very differently. I try to let my Faith with a capital F now, direct my choices in life. All my family, friends and work colleagues know that being part of the church at St Laurence’s in Measham is important to me.

I know now with a certainty that is both reassuring and overwhelming, that God did not abandon me when life became hard. On the contrary he was telling me that he has always been beside me, surrounding me with his love, and wanting my love in return. He wanted me to know this and that all I had to do was to open the door to him ….. literally in my case …… and let him in. I believe that is why I found myself standing outside church 7 years ago….. Amen to that.

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