Fiona's Story

I have always floated around the periphery of Christianity. We had hymn singing and prayers everyday at school but my family never really attended church and I felt kind of weird for being interested in Jesus and never really pursued my inner searching.

I first came to know Jesus through a horrific attack when I was 21. I lived in South Africa at the time and was attacked by a burglar who’d broken into our home while I was out at college. I don’t know how I survived but once I managed to get away from my assailant, I locked myself in the bathroom and stayed there until some help arrived, some two hours later. During this solitary confinement, I recalled a passage from a daily prayer book that someone had passed on to me a few days before. The passage I’d read had been about a pilot during the first Gulf War who had been so frightened during the missions that the only thing he could remember was ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so’. I repeated this for those full two hours and I know during that time, I was not alone.

But like many people, once the crisis was over, I put Jesus on the back burner and carried on with my life. It had it’s ups and downs and I taught at various church schools so I figured I was getting enough religion – as if it were vitamins! At one point I did an Alpha course which was okay but unlike most people, I didn’t get a heck of a lot out of it and once again, I put my relationship with God to one side. The amazing thing is, God has a plan for each of us and He won’t give up even when we get distracted. At many different times in my life, God has sent Christians to witness to me, to plant the seeds which would eventually blossom and grow. One of these people was my Pilates teacher, Annie. I came to know Annie after a number of physiotherapists recommended I do some kind of exercise for my back. Over the years, Annie talked about her faith but we never really went into a lot of detail.

Then, two years ago, my life hit rock bottom. I had been suffering with depression on and off for years but this time I couldn’t cope any longer and I tried to commit suicide. The dark thoughts, the false promises of astrology and the material world had lured me into believing that I was worthless and had nothing to live for. In the darkest time, I felt God’s presence. Although I desperately wanted to end the pain by ending my life, He promised there was another way and I had to get help.

Several weeks later, after I had started taking medication, Annie innocently asked me how I was and within seconds I was in floods of tears. A few days later we went out and got talking about Jesus. Clayton’s Lounge in Marlow is normally a lively hang out for the Bucks social set, that night it was the place where I poured my heart out to Annie – tears and all! That Sunday, Annie sent me a text and invited me to St Peters, since I had nothing better to do, I went along. That morning I was massively convicted by the Holy Spirit and I knew there was no way I could carry on my life the way it had been, I needed Jesus and I needed to have a living and active relationship with God.

That first morning at St Peters I was again crying my eyes out and across on the other balcony, I saw a very tall man doing some silly dancing to the worship music. Through my tears I burst out laughing and felt that this place would be a good place for me to be.

In September 2005 I married that tall man – Matt - at St Peters! I must point out, however, that it took him a full year to notice me! I feel very blessed to have Matt in my life as well as the love and support of the people at St Peters. But most of all, knowing that I have ‘Freedom in Christ’ and that He’s part of my life; I think that’s the best bit.

Fiona and Matt - September 2005
Permission to use this story has been granted by Fiona.










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