Forty Stories of God’s Amazing Grace
Saturday 23 March 2019 // Liz Fetherstonhaugh
Friday 22 March 2019 // Alison Russell
I have been 12 years at Willowfield. Alan Higgins invited me along. When I was baptised, God came into my heart. I am involved with Prospects Group. Being involved with Prospects means I read the lessons in church and I sing, which I enjoy. I like coming to the CAP job club on Friday morning where I meet new friends. Thank you for reading my story.
Thursday 21 March 2019 // Billy Hamilton
Wednesday 20 March 2019 // Jacqui Bell
My name is Jacqui and sadly I found myself homeless and living in Hosford House. Being allowed to live here for a maximum of 2 years I would have to move out on 6 January 2019.
Just before Christmas 2018 still having nowhere to live permanently I was given a two months extension. I had been praying and believing that God would provide for me and as others joined me in prayer God did amazingly provide the right home in the right area on 25 January.
I got the keys to my own home and I was so excited and I feel very blessed to now have my own place to call home. Thank you God.
Tuesday 19 March 2019 // Jasmine Mathiesen
Monday 18 March 2019 // ‘S’
When asked to tell about the recent experience I had with God speaking to me, I was unsure.
After growing up in the church I’d turned my back on it and God in my late teens after the death on my Nan. After years of wondering around in life not knowing where i fit into life a friend told me she was trying a new church. I invited myself along and felt welcomed straight away. It was only the 2nd or 3rd week attending Willowfield I heard about Alpha and decided to go. I had been part of other churches when I was younger helping run summer camps and teach Sunday school to younger kids at my church but felt I really didn’t know who Jesus or God was.
In the first few weeks of Alpha I ended up in A&E after what was diagnosed as an asthma attack. While I was in hospital the carried out a series of tests as doctors couldn’t hear any function in my right lung. While carrying out an ECG doctors became very concerned and began asking me about my heart. I was sent back out to A&E and was made to carry out tests several times. A doctor finally called me into a private room and explained I was showing signs of a murmur with my heart and as I had no knowledge of anything wrong I was admitted into hospital for further tests. It was brought up how I’d had a fall 6 months prior and hurt my shoulder. In those 6 months I’d gone from running a marathon to not being about to run for the bus as I was in pain with my shoulder and always felt like I’d a bad chest infection. This only caused the doctors to worry more and they began explaining that something was seriously wrong with my heart and that I’d have to go for more tests and may have to have surgery.
It wasn’t until the following week I went back to church and back to Alpha…but only after a gentleman came into my work and handed me a leaflet saying “good hasn’t forgotten you” I had been toying with the idea of not going back. Consumed with the worry that I was ill and that I’d have to give up running for good…the only thing that had been keeping me sane. That week I’d gone back to Alpha I got talking to Glynis about what had happened and she asked if she could pray with me. I’d agreed and will always be thankful to her that. She asked God to just be with me in that time and help ease some of the worry I was having.
Two months down the line…I’ve a lovely new companion called my inhaler meaning it doesn’t hurt to breath any more but more amazingly I’ve been told that although I have a murmur it is likely it’s been there all my life and as I’d never been ill before it was never been picked up. I was allowed to start running again…improving more than I’d ever done before.
But more amazingly has been the change I have seen in myself after those few weeks. I know feel like I have a belonging and people who know me through work or have known me over the last few years keep commenting that I am different…happy. The only change I have done is begin my journey with God again. Learning to listen when he is trying to tell me something instead of pushing him away and putting my trust in him that he has a plan for me if I only listen.
Saturday 16 March 2019 // Aliyah Billeau
Friday 15 March 2019 // ‘RG’
A few months ago, I joined an Alpha Course. Near the end of that course we had a live teaching from Glynis. I was encouraged to ask for prayer for my sore lower back.
After prayer, I still had some pain, but not nearly as acute. I kept quoting a verse in Revelation “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
Around a week later, I was completely pain free.
In fact, my back has been stronger than before, as I would have had stiffness, discomfort, after doing housework, such as hoovering.
God is good. He gave me an unexpected blessing. I am so thankful for a healing touch from His lovely hand.
Thursday 14 March 2019 // Cameron Finlay
Wednesday 13 March 2019 // Mandy Menagh
About 18 years ago while in work a heavy fire door fell on me causing an injury to my shoulder and leaving me in constant pain. I later discovered a few months later after a scan that I had in fact damaged my rotator cuff and was told it was an injury which would get worse through time and would eventually require surgery. As time passed it got to the stage where I couldn’t sleep at night with the pain from the injury was affecting my day to day life.
One night in Church I just thought I can’t go on like this so I went to the prayer team explained my problem and asked for healing prayer. As they prayed I felt like something in my shoulder was being pressed together but still had the pain when I left. I thought no more about this until later in the week when I realized that I hadn’t lost anymore sleep since the prayer and in fact hadn’t even realized that the pain was gone. That was about 7 years ago and I have had no problems with my shoulder since.
No operation needed, Jesus healed me and revealed his love for me. Our God is a God of miracles.
Tuesday 12 March 2019 // Jennifer Hanna
Monday 11 March 2019 // ‘N’
A few years ago, my life was pretty normal – a husband and 3 wonderful sons. We started to have problems with our youngest son around 3 ½ years ago and soon realised it wasn’t just normal teenage behaviour – he was on a slippery slope and couldn’t see it. We sought help in appropriate places, but it was always one step forward, two steps back; he was approaching 18 and it felt like we had lost him. I felt helpless and hopeless. There were two thoughts that kept circling through my mind throughout all the difficulties. The first was something my mother said to me on her deathbed years earlier which I hadn’t taken much notice of; ‘your da wants you to get saved’. Bearing in mind my dad had passed away 14 years earlier, I attributed this to the medication she was on so it never held much importance for me until life started to get really difficult.
The other was something my husband’s uncle, whose child had struggled with the same problem, said to me: ‘Do you believe in God? Pray. Just pray.’ So in my despair I just knew I needed to go to church. The first time I went to Willowfield, I went to two services in the one day. I began attending Alpha the following week, began praying more than I ever had in my life, listening to and finding comfort in worship songs and trying to read the Bible – my faith was growing and I was starting to understand that if anyone could help, God could. I really wanted to give my life to God but was held back by fear – what would people think, what if they treated me differently, what if I failed, what if I don’t live up to expectation? I think I was also waiting for some kind of confirmation from God before I gave my life to him. After much turmoil, I went for it. That night, I felt so full of joy! As I lay in bed, I dreamt of a light so bright I couldn’t look directly at it. The next morning as I got up to go to work, I turned on my phone and the words appeared on the screen, ‘God works in mysterious ways’.
Life problems continued in the background to all this, but I knew I was able to cope on God’s strength. A week before Christmas, my youngest son was viciously assaulted, suffering head injuries – but a brain scan and x–ray showed no lasting damage. I prayed furiously for physical and mental recovery.
What looked like a potentially bleak Christmas turned into something beyond my expectations. My youngest son had a complete turnaround and is progressing well, another son and his partner revealed on Christmas eve that they are expecting a baby after 3 failed IVF attempts and 4 years of trying, and the third son and his partner also revealed on Boxing Day that they are expecting a baby too, after 1 ½ years! What joy this gave to the whole family! I thank God that he continues to look after and bless me and my family.
Saturday 9 March 2019 // John Simpson
Friday 8 March 2019 // ‘K’
I have suffered from chronic migraines for over twenty years. I have tried different medications from the doctor, but nothing seemed to work. The past year they have become more frequent. I was taking one migraine a week, which lasted two, sometimes three days. It made me very sick and I had to spend hours in a darkened room. I missed so much time with my family.
I knew we had a Prayer Ministry Team in church, but was never brave enough to go up until one Sunday morning, in Spring time 2018 God spoke to me to go for prayer. I could hardly get to the front quick enough!
I knew that something was going to happen. Glynis prayed with me and praise God, I have been migraine free since!
We have an amazing God and I thank and praise him for His healing every day.
Thursday 7 March 2019 // Annie Craig
Wednesday 6 March 2019 // Chloe Moffatt
They say that in life–threatening situations your life flashes before your eyes– for me that wasn’t the case. As my car flipped across the carriageway late one night into oncoming traffic, I prayed. There was no time or mental capacity to run through a highlight reel of my life (like the movies portray so often). I prayed– the most desperate, fervent, wholehearted prayer I had ever prayed. Those who know me well know that I am a bit of a control freak, but in those few seconds, a shift happened when I become totally aware of my lack of control in the situation that was unfolding right in front of me. For the first time in my 22 years of life I was so attuned to the fragility of the human body and how fleeting our time on earth truly is. In those kind of moments– trust me– you have no choice but to totally surrender to God; literally placing your life in His hands, knowing that He is the only One who can protect you.
On 21st November 2017, as I drove home from a late night meeting in work, I rounded a corner on an unlit part of the carriageway to find a car totally stationary, with no lights on, in my lane. Swerving to miss the car meant that I hit the central reservation and flipped onto the opposite side of the carriageway into the oncoming traffic. My driver’s window smashed and my right arm was dragged along the A1. That night, as I lay on the road, the mixture of the darkness around me, the fear, the pain and the loneliness, all created a perfect storm of hopelessness and despair. Often when things look bleak and dark in the world around us we can wonder where God is. We can look at a starving child, a warzone, a family torn about by violence and question why God seems absent in the midst of their situation. Even for Christians, it can be easy to slip into the “why me?” mindset or question where God is during a horrible car accident. But my story is quite the opposite. My story is one of seeing God’s hand in every detail of my rescue that evening in November; in the many, many miracles He performed in that one night. A few seconds earlier or later would have resulted in my car hitting another and the fact that my car had flipped onto its side (while causing a lot of damage to my arm) meant that I didn’t have any other major injuries to my neck or legs or back or head– what a blessing! But that was only the beginning.
At first when my car stopped I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and gratefulness to God… and then I felt the pain! Worse than any pain I could’ve ever imagined. Very quickly, however, I realised that God had a specific rescue plan for me that night, and so along came miracle number 1. The first man to come across my accident happened to be a member of St John’s Ambulance who had a full first–aid kit in his car. After assessing me, he climbed in through the boot and bandaged my right arm. Later that night I would learn of the extent of damage done to my arm: that the surgeons considered the possibility of me losing it, that I had several compound fractures, that I had lost the majority of skin and muscle on it, and that I would need extensive surgery. But most importantly I would learn that my arm was probably only saved by the fact that this man, who had come so quickly to my aid, had wrapped it up so well!
The next person on the scene, let’s call him miracle number 2, just happened to be a doctor on his way home from a shift at the hospital. Without doing too much more (as the paramedic had already done a great job of wrapping up my arm), this doctor was able to give me the reassurance I needed that all signs pointed to not having any major injuries elsewhere.
And then Scott arrived. Scott was a fireman that just so happened to be on call that night and close enough to the scene of the accident that he was sent out to it. Having been best friends with his sister for 12 years and having worked with him for over a year, I knew Scott quite well and I knew him to be a lovely, godly man. Miracle number 3. After being so terrified and in so much pain for what seemed like a VERY long time, to see a familiar, loving, Christian face through my windscreen was exactly what I needed in that moment (as God knew!). Scott climbed into my car and what I remember of that next while, as they decided how best to get me out, was the peace I felt as he prayed over me.
What followed throughout that night was a series of amazing paramedics, nurses, doctors and surgeons all working as hard as they could to create the best outcome for my full recovery going forward. Many tough conversations were had as they informed me of the long road to recovery, the surgeries that lay ahead and the things I might never be able to do again. However, the most significant conversations I had that night were the ones in which I was able to share about God’s power and protection! Romans 8:28 says ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ That night (and the two weeks that followed) in hospital were tough! And I don’t believe for a second that God wanted me to have a car accident or wanted me to be in so much pain. However, He did use the situation for so much good and opened so many opportunities for me to share His word and His love. Nearly every professional I spoke to that night talked about how “lucky” I had been to have survived with the injuries that I had– and I was able to use this as a conversation starter of how I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in a God who protects and a God who heals.
During the months of my recovery, there were too many little miracles to count but I will finish with one final miracle that reinforced God’s sovereignty for me. At my first physio appointment (after only being able to move my arm aprrox. 90 degrees for a few months) I was told not to get my hopes up as I probably wouldn’t get any more movement back. Well–intentioned as my physio was, she wasn’t counting on the fact that I serve a healing God and a God of the ‘impossible’. And after many months of prayer, and also hard work, my arm was restored to pretty much 100% movement.
I won’t lie and say that things were rosy during that time or that they have been rosy since; I still really struggle with the mental side of getting into a car, especially when it’s dark or the weather is bad. However, I am so deeply aware of just how blessed I have been over the last year and how God has used every little detail of that time to bring me to where I am today.
Often people are crying out for mountain–moving miracles and fail to recognise the little miracle moments that God works in the everyday that change the trajectory of our lives forever.
We’re so excited to share that beginning this Wednesday, 6 March we will be launching a brand new film + written series for lent called ‘Forty Stories of God’s Amazing Grace!’ Watch the intro film with Mark Brown below to find out more!