Thursday, 25 August 2011 was the 17th anniversary of my attempted suicide (using my sister’s psychiatric drugs) after my husband left me in June 1994 and all hope had been lost. I was interested to hear Joe Henegan at Compassion UK prayer time on the morning of 25 August 2011 make reference to “dying to self” and to Philippians 3:7-11 . I was reminded of a Graham Kendrick song that seemed to encapsulate what happened to me in 1994 (the year of the Toronto Blessing)
This was the point I was at in 1994. Before John left I had all the “normal” desires for a materially-comfortable life, with husband and children and a nice home. When John left I was “born again” and came into relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t an easy birth, but not all births are easy.
On 25 August 1994 I took a large number of the psychiatric drugs that had been prescribed for my sister Suzanne (I particularly chose the ones that had the skull and crossbones beside them in the “Drug Book”, so it wasn’t a call for help, it was a desire to leave this planet because I had lost hope and life was too emotionally painful). But I didn’t die, I lived and my life now is a “supernatural” one. It is difficult to explain, but the Bible says in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” and to me my life now sometimes feels like I am living in a dream-like bubble.
On 26 August 2011 I travelled by train from Dorking via “Kings Cross” (how about that for a reference to Jesus, my Lord, Saviour and Friend who died on the cross to set us free from sin) to Lincoln via Newark (New work) Northgate.
I was interested to see that the “Lincoln Arms” is just next to Dorking Station. The word arms always makes me think of my Saviour’s Arms wrapping around me to keep me secure.
Nine months after being born again in Surrey in 1994 I moved to Lincolnshire and lived there until 2003, so at August Bank Holiday weekend 2011 I was visiting friends in the City.
On Thursday, 25 August 2011 something very strange happened; I had been having problems with my car for a few weeks and on my way from work at Compassion UK in Weybridge to my sister’s flat in Dorking, my Citroen Saxo 1.1 Desire went “clonk” and died on the A245 just going into Cobham. I called the AA and was sent a man called Paul (a very biblical name and one that Joe had quoted in prayers that morning). He diagnosed a probable problem with the Cam belt that could be very expensive and asked me where I would like to be towed to. I asked him to tow me to the home in Georgelands, Ripley of my car mechanic (Salvatore D’Amico – Italian for Saviour Friend!!).
I sat in the car as it was being towed by Paul the AA man in his van. As I couldn’t see where I was going (the tow bar held me very close to the AA van and I had been told to drive immediately behind the van and not to drift to the left or right) I was reminded that we need to follow closely after Jesus and trust Him that He knows the way forward and will get us to where we need to be.
I had thought it may the “end of the line” for my Citroen Saxo 1.1 Desire, but Friday, 26 August 2011 was the 17th anniversary of my New Life with Christ!
Whilst in Lincoln at August Bank Holiday 2011, I had the opportunity catch up with friends from New Life Church in Lincoln and also my Compassion colleague, friend and former flatmate Anne, whose wedding I attended in Uganda in September 2008. I landed in Entebbe, Uganda on 15 September 2008 (5 years to the day from 15 September 2003 when I had been given a prophecy about being connected to a Compassion ministry in Africa). Anne was staying at the White Hart in my favourite part of Lincoln (Bailgate) near the Cathedral and Castle. Hart always reminds me of “As the Deer Pants for the Water, so my soul longs after you” (a song that comes from Psalm 42).
It was to the last chords of that song that I entered the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem on 30 September 2001, on my first visit to the Holy Land.
I was introduced to my car mechanic, Salvatore D’Amico, by Ginny Sharman (my boss at Compassion UK), as he was her car mechanic. Ginny’s birthday is 24 June (St John the Baptist Day) and “co-incidentally”, I bought my Citroen Saxo 1.1 “Desire” on 24 June in 2006. I travel the B374 to Weybridge and back every day when working at Compassion UK and Psalm 37:4 says “Delight Yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.
As I said, I had thought this might be the end of the Citroen Saxo 1.1 Desire, but on 1 September 2011 (St Giles Day), just as I signed and handed on the card circulating to mark Ginny’s 10th anniversary of starting at Compassion UK (3 September 2011 – the 246th day of the year) I received a call from Salv to tell me that my car was mended. I don’t know what was happening in my life on 1 September 1994, other than I was in hospital recovering from the drug overdose but, just as Jesus (my Lord, Saviour and friend) has mended me, is mending me and will mend me, Salv had mended my car. He called me at 5:24 p.m.(the car had died on the A245 in Cobham), to let me know he had arrived at the gate of Compassion with my car and, lo and behold, Ginny appeared out of the building at the same time. God’s timing.
On 3 September 2011 (the 10th anniversary of Ginny starting at Compassion UK) I attended the Aglow Ladies Meeting in Guildford and one of the Compassion advocates had “co-incidentally” been led to make a presentation of the work of Compassion at that meeting. The title of the Guest Speaker’s talk was “Dare to Desire” and one of the scriptures she finished with was Psalm 37:4 “Delight Yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.