Barbara Heaps speaks to Lizzie Wilson about her Christian faith. Lizzie has recently joined Grace Church Wakefield.
BH: Hi Lizzie. What was your upbringing like?
LW: It was very Christian and very strict. When I was born I suffered from the effects of lack of oxygen and was in ICU for 6 weeks, very ill and my parents or the doctors didn’t know if I would live. This has left me with educational learning difficulties.
My father was a junior schoolteacher where I went to school. He was strict at school and at home. You daren’t cross the line or you were in trouble! It was quite hard. I had a difficult relationship with my mum, and she could be strict too. I was told that I was hard to live with.
I did struggle in my childhood, it seemed like a battle. I lived with friends of my parents most weekends between the ages of 3 and 7. I didn’t cope well with growing up and left home at 16.
BH: When did you first realise that Jesus had died to rescue you from sin?
LW: I don’t remember exactly when I believed. Friends tell me that it was when I was 5 or 6, and that I was unusually happy and dancing around.
I do remember when I was 9 telling my dad that I loved God and he loved me, and I wanted to be baptised. So I was baptised then.
I know that Jesus loves me and also that he has wiped my slate clean. God is greater than everyone’s sin and if we have faith to believe that Jesus died for us, we can have God’s gift of salvation because of Jesus’ death on the cross.
BH: What has being a Christian been like?
LW: I was severely bullied at school. On one occasion, when I was 11 a group of children got me on the way home from school and were going to set fire to me, but a teacher happened to be passing and saw what was happening. She took me home and the police were informed.
If I hadn’t had God to cope I might even have killed myself. But God proved his faithfulness to me and I knew he was with me and helping me.
God never makes mistakes. He allowed all this to happen and he can use it. I am what I am because God wants me that way. God uses our lives maybe to help someone in the same position.
I have fought with God over not being able to have children. I love children. I have had real struggles when other women in church have become pregnant and had their babies. But over the last few years God has been repairing me, and my struggles are decreasing.
God has also restored my relationship with my parents.
BH: We're so glad you're part of GCW. Tell us why you are joining.
LW: I want to join GCW because it is a Bible believing church, putting God first, which is what Christianity is all about. Also it is not just a church, it is a loving and caring family where I can be my own person and not be judged or criticised for my past.
God will not let go of me, he never abandons anyone and remains faithful in every situation. He has proved faithful to me.