Early in October 2019 I rang a friend from a hospital bed and shamefully uttered the words ‘It’s happened again, I don’t know what to do anymore’. I had made yet another unsuccessful attempt to end my life.
My friend simply replied ‘Becka, I just wish you would open your heart to God’. That sentence prompted me to take action. Some 3 years earlier I had with the help of the same friend purchased a bible during a prolonged hospital stay. I picked a purple covered bible, my favourite colour. I had only got as far as occasionally admiring the purple cover in all that time.
Memories of my return home are vague but I did get my I pad out and began to search for an Alpha course. I had previously wondered about doing a course but had never been either brave or desperate enough. It all happened pretty fast, to be fair it needed to and God knew that. I was in a big mess. My friend was ecstatic and gobsmacked when I told her I’d emailed this church called Waypoint and an Alpha course was due to start very soon. I asked my friend to take a look at the church website and she was both impressed and encouraged with their statement ‘If you have never experienced church, or you are looking for somewhere to call home, why don’t you join us at our weekly Sunday Gathering or contact us to find out more’. I’m what you could call an ‘open book’ and was honest in my initial email. The response I received was so encouraging. I found myself agreeing to meet for a coffee prior to Alpha beginning. This too was very encouraging and I believed I would be able to attend. This from someone who although I ran a successful business was crippled with social anxiety.
However, I missed the first evening, I was in such distress about something else, I drove to Dundee and back trying to straighten out my thoughts. I share this to give you a glimpse of just how much of a mess things were and despite best efforts, I wasn’t getting any better. What happened next still amazes me. ‘Would you like a lift next week?’ I was asked. Wow, the problem of walking through the door on my own was solved, as simple as that. I found myself saying yes. This was so unlike me but I now know and understand God was at work. It was no coincidence. I was meant to attend.
Everyone was so welcoming and kind when I finally made it the second week. Nerves were high but unlike other situations, I didn’t have the urge to flee and settled into watching the film and joining in the discussion. You receive an Alpha handbook, detailing the weekly sessions. It’s entitled Why am I here? Is there more to Life than this? Well, this immediately resonated with me, that was exactly where I was at. Wow. It was very natural the desire to be there week after week. Amazingly family, friends, work colleges, professionals and even fellow Alpha attendees began to notice a change in me. I too began to experience hope, a feeling which had been absent for some time.
Going to Alpha transformed my life by enabling me to discover Jesus and have a relationship with our Father God. It led me to my saviour. Ok wait a minute, me pre-Alpha would have read that and not had a clue what that means but please have an open heart, an open mind and patience. It might feel overwhelming and strange at times but I urge you to stick with it and you too may discover the stunning relationship that statement refers to. I am still amazed my friend had kept something so awesome a secret! Or indeed how had I been alive for 39 years and not known!
My life and understanding of life has changed beyond recognition. It hasn’t been without setbacks, doubts and challenges but we are human! I seriously cannot comprehend a life without God. As if that wasn’t enough the experiences and relationships I’ve had and continue to have through Waypoint Church Family are another layer of joy in my life. Quite simply I am a very different person, for the better.
So I’d invite and encourage you to try Alpha. Please put aside any residue of RE lessons and token church visits you may have had like I did. Come and find out for yourself. It has the potential to be the beginning of the best decision you will ever make in your life.
Thanks for reading, With Love Becka