Sister Stories - Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sister Stories

This podcast encourages us to reflect on how the Lord has grown and moulded us into becoming more like Christ.

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S1 - 8. Fran

In this episode, I am interviewing Fran, who is a marketeer and has her own small business. She is also married to Greg and they have two children. Listen in to hear about her journey to faith in Christ and her relationship to prayer and to the Bible.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sister stories podcast.

This podcast is aimed at marveling at god's sovereignty in each of our lives as women.

And not encouraging each other via our stories.

My name is Sophie, and today I am joined by Fran.


Hi Fran.

Thank you for joining us.

So first of all, could you tell me a little bit about who you are? Yeah.

So, I'm married to Greg, so I'm a wife.

Greg and I met in Australia 12 years ago and fast forward to today.

We now live in New Malden.

We've got 2 kids We've got Silas, who's 3 and a half, and, Florie, who's 18 months.

And I, I work as a Mark here for a a big snacking company.

So I try to encourage the nation to eat more biscuits.

And, I also have my own little business as well, which runs out of my husband's hometown in Canada.


Oh, wow.

What does that biz business do? It's, so we run, baby and toddler classes.


Yeah, for grown ups and, they're little ones, and, it actually came from my friend and our boy our boys were born a day apart.

And so we went through this really special moment of becoming moms for the first time and we we designed this class that we thought would be the best class ever, and we named it.

We made a business plan and was up and running by the time my son was 1.

So I love it.

That's amazing.


That's lovely.

So obviously, we're going to talk a little bit about your journey to, knowing Christ and and you walk with him.

But, can you tell me a bit about, your family background how you grew up, what your family was like.


So, I would say I sort of grew up in a Christian home.

My mom is a Christian and she took me and my 2 brothers to church from a really young age.

She has quite a a personal faith she's very committed.

And, I yeah.

I mean, the way that she kind of behaves and conducts her self.

She's just incredible.

She has this incredible ability to go into a room and know if someone's suffering.

And look after them.

Like, she adopts these old ladies in the church and looks after them right until the point of, you know, them dying.

And looks after them in a way in which they've never experienced before.

And I think when I was younger, I I used to think, oh, my mom's so kind, but now I very much see it as a point of it's just to overspill of her love for Jesus.

And my dad, he, he grew up going to a Catholic church.

And I think it's probably fair to say that he had some bad experiences in the church, and I think that's made him quite hesitant to pursuing any type of faith.

But, like, I see so many Christlike characteristics in my dad.

He is so generous and loving and supportive and he's just the best granddad.

And, but he's never told me that he he feels a need to commit his life to Christ.

So I think growing up, it's he didn't encourage me to do the same too.

And, my brothers and I when probably early 13, 14 when we could make the decision to stop go to church, we did.

I think we've all found it pretty boring, to be honest.

Oh, great.


Thank you for that.

I wonder whether you had any direct exposure to the school, you were saying that you just thought your mom was kind and maybe didn't perceive her faith from a young age.

What did you think of of going to church and of hearing things at church? Yeah.

I would say I think it's fair to say I didn't understand the gospel.

It was only till a lot later in my life that I I heard the gospel.

And that even took a while to kinda sink in.

And, but what I kind of perceived of god, I I left church kind of I had this I knew that he existed and that I have got that memory for as long as I can ever remember.

I knew that he loved me, and I always had innate desire to pray when things would go wrong.

But to be honest with you, I didn't know that god wanted anything more from me than just knowing about his existence.

So I didn't know that, you know, I needed to actual change on on that.

And I pretty much went through my whole till early mid twenties, calling myself a Christian, you know, calling myself a Christian, and but I would think about it for lack of a better word, extreme Christians, and I would think, oh, they're judgmental.

I I just kind of accepted these blind stereotypes that people have with Christians, judgmental, prudish, you know, fun police.

And it's like, I don't wanna be associated with that.

But there was something that stuck with me of I know that he's there.

I know that he loves me.

And why do I feel this desire to pray? When things get hard.


And where does that come from? So That's really interesting because there must have been something of maybe seeing your mom or or other people in the church praying or or having that habit of praying in your in your family maybe.

I don't know.

Do you feel that maybe you prayed as a family? Which influenced your or No.

Not really.



Just something you knew that told you.

I think it's the whole spirit.







It's I don't know.


It's is is kind of strange, but I I really couldn't shake that feeling.

And I I found myself when I, when I moved to Canada.

So I just graduated from uni, and I I moved to Canada and I had caught myself a really good job.

And kind of once the excitement of, oh, I moved and I've got this great job wore off.


I found myself to be in a really low place.

And, I was I was definitely experiencing culture shock.

You know, we speak the same language, but we behave quite differently.

And, also, it was freezing.

Like, it was the coldest winter in a 170 years, and I had a job in sales that I was getting in and out of my car.

And the weather was, like, minus 50.


But I think even here, we can't imagine that, can we? Exactly.


So, and so that aside, I was also experiencing horrible misogyny in the workplace and bullying by someone as well.

And I found myself in this really, really low place.

And I remember 1 night, I I googled prayers for in distress.

And I prayed this prayer, and I, yeah, prayed this prayer.

That is what I kind of innately thought I needed to do.

And I asked for a friend.

And the very next morning, this girl from my workplace that I'd know I hadn't hardly ever spoken to said a few words too.

I didn't even know that she really liked me, to be honest.

She called me up and said, do you wanna go for lunch? And fast forward 8 years, this girl's more like sister to me now.

And, you know, we have our boys were born a day apart.

We have a business together.

We speak every single day, even though we live in different countries.

And I just think even at a point where I was really indifferent knowing god, he was he wasn't about me, you know, and he was revealing himself to me in that moment.

I didn't understand the gospel then either, but he was showing me what kind of god he is.

A a lovely god.

Who cares? Who really cares about me? And so I kind of, yeah, I would pray about things that I have a handful of stuff to of situations where things wouldn't necessarily go my way.

But it would let me know that he's there.

He's encouraging me and he's like, yes, woman.

Like, you're looking in the right place.

That's great.

It's amazing that, I guess, through this prose, even if you might know I've had a personal relationship with God, and maybe you were doing that kind of automatically as a response to things happening in your life.

It's just really interesting how god continues to work seemingly in the background, but bringing you to the right people and and in the right places, I'm sure.

If we carry on with your story a little bit, what happens in the years after after that because, surely, you're not in Kansas anymore.

You're here.

So, can you tell me about maybe how you met Greg and other things? Yeah.

So, Greg and I met in Australia 12 years ago, he spent a few years in the UK.

And then once I graduated, I moved over there.

And now we're kind of at a point where we're a couple of years of being married, and he was going through his own journey to come to know Jesus.

And the first point that I realized that all his heart is really changing or he's just acting really weird, It was a couple of months before we're getting married, and he didn't wanna move in with me.

And I thought, well, that's kinda strange.

But I kinda shrugged it off and didn't think too much of it.

And we got married, and he had become, you know, really kind of committed in his faith, and he wanted to go to church.

And so I I went along, you know, I'm I'm a Christian as well.

I thought and I probably I saw Greg change in front of my eyes and Yeah.

I probably was in the church for 2 to 3 years before I actually understood the gospel message.

And I went to really good churches as well.

But I think a lot of my like you were saying with god bringing people into your life, I think Greg was a lot of that to me.


Yeah, just seeing him completely change.

I mean, there was there's 1 instance where he was experiencing someone being really horrible to him.

And he he yeah.

We were talking about the situation.

This person was undermining him, and it just really wasn't fair what was happening.

And I was saying, you know, you need to reveal her.

You need to, you know, go to HR or whatever.

And then he says to me, well, I think I need to show love to her.

And that was really radical.

I was like, you wanna what? You wanna what, honey? Yeah.

That was really wild.

But it shows how radical Jesus love is for us.

And I think I I understood that at that point.

And that so I went through this whole journey of, like, understanding sin and isn't that exactly what Jesus did for us? You know, his love was that radical even when we're sinners.


He died for us because he loves us.

And it that was kind of a a a good illustration of that that drove the point home.

But I realized that I was still living a life indifferent to him, even though I was could go to church and whatnot.

But yeah.

So so what at what point would you say that changed? And I I know you said before that there wasn't truly a moment where you feel you committed your life to Christ in particular because it feels like you a Christian or your life, really, in maybe in your mind at the time as well.

But, was there a kind of turning point, or was Was that the turning point maybe? I think it probably was.

And I got to the point after that that was like, I know he exists, but I'm acting like he isn't.

And I feel like I'm almost living a lie.

And so I actually have this note in my iPhone that records exactly the date and time, of when I wrote this message and I was sat there in my kitchen.

I was 8 months pregnant, and I was thinking, what am I gonna, like, teach my kid about his existence? Like, what do I actually believe.

And I wrote down 3 scenarios for myself.


So, yeah, this was 28th July.

2018 in the afternoon.

It's kinda cool how how that's recorded.

I mean, you know, of course, there's a journey, obviously.

With all that, but I have a specific date Yes.

Of when I became a Christian, that I find I don't know.

It really strikes me when you can actually pinpoint a time where you turned where you repented and believed.


I think that's really fascinating.

Obviously, a lot of us don't have that specific date, and it's a very slow process sometimes.

But it's quite striking when you can actually think back of that day.


And look at what actually changed.

It makes it really palpable for us as it is.


I'm actually star corrected.

It was 28th January.

It was just before Silas was born.


And so I, yeah, I have option 1, which is a rope.

God is there.

God loves us.

So he does care what we do, including the things including things that are unkind to people and ourselves.

He let Jesus take our place in judgment so that we can be reconnected with him in love and forgiveness.

And then option 2 was, god is there, but he's indifferent to what we do.

This is kind of where I sat.

God doesn't really care that much about how we live our lives.

He wants us to have a good time.

And as long as we feel good that's all that matters, if that means acting selfishly or dismissing others, then kinda so be it.

And then I thought about that.

I'm like, do I really wanna follow a guard at that? Character that's indifferent to people suffering.

And, you know, that was certainly not the god that I had experience a god that was, like, answering my prayers.

So and then the third 1 was a god doesn't exist.

I can do whatever I want.

There's no consequences or meaning to life.

Human beings aren't worth anything more than what we imagine.

And this little baby growing inside of me has no more significance than the chair I'm sat on.

And That's quite harsh, isn't it? Yeah.

But isn't that the reality a lot of people I can see.


Isn't that the reality of of a life without god? Like, it is that.

And I couldn't believe that.

I knew from my past experience that that was not true.


And so, yeah, I went with option 1, and I think that, for the first time ever, I wanted god's plan for my life more than I wanted my own.


And so I think that's probably the point that I've changed, but it was over a long period of time that I got there.

It sounds like there's a lot of little things contributing to it, and I think we all have that experience somehow bid by bits, things bringing us closer, closer to him or him reaching out to us.


A little bit at a time sometimes.

I wonder whether your pro life changed as a result of that because you were saying how if something happened in your life, you were turning to god in prayer, and whether you noticed a change in the way you were praying, or or I don't know, in your relationship to god, because surely there must have been some kind of choice.

Oh, yeah.

It radically changed before I was just like, I want this help me.

And then it I went through, like, a long period of, just, like, repenting, not feeling good enough, for god.

And, And and the prayers changed in that it was like, I'm moving out of my own way.

I'm moving, you know, I'm not gonna let what, for me, it was social acceptance.

It was being ruled by my own emotions and feelings.

That I had been for so long.

I'm not gonna let that rule me, and I want god.

I want you to take control I want your plan for my life.

And so I anyone that kind of knows me well, is that when I commit to something, I I go for it, and I I gave him some really big things.

And at times where it's like, I felt really uncomfortable about it.

And a lot of that was I had a situation with my career had a situation where moving.

How's how I actually got to New Malden? I really didn't wanna come here.


No reflection on the church.

I did know the church even existed at this point.

But, yeah, Greg will tell you, but I gave it over to god, and he's led me here.

And I honestly can say that I've never felt the freedom and and the peace that I feel within myself since kinda making that decision.


Oh, that's amazing.

I wonder as well, we haven't truly mentioned your reading of the Bible at all, and obviously that is an essential part of being a Christian.

I wonder whether you started reading it as certain points as well in your life, or what is your relationship to the Bible, really? So I think when I started going Church of Greg for that 2, 3 years.

I, I did join a home group eventually.

But I dabbled in and out of the Bible you know, I didn't read it that much, kind of the Sunday sermon was my my source of information.

And I just don't think I had the it felt like a chore.

And and that changed over the 3 years, and I became more interested.

And, and I got to a point where it's like that it's radically different and that I need the Bible.

Like, I need that as the first thing in my life.

And even during this lockdown, even though I had a a newborn at the toddler and a husband that was in a really busy season of his life.

I woke up at 5 AM during a a period and I had, like, an hour reading the Bible because it was, like, that is I just have to send to myself, in god's word.

And when you do that, and you become more tuned to it.

What is he saying to me? And, you know, I experienced more joy, and, like, they had more capacity.

And logically, that doesn't really make sense.

But it's definitely, you know, it's like having having a marriage as well that you you based your marriage on what the Bible says.

It just only leads to flourishing.


That's right.


Oh, amazing.

You mentioned the lockdown, and, my next question is about about that really.

And, whether there were some challenges, I'm I'm assuming there might have been, or encouragements from god in that time.

What was it like for you? Yeah.

I think, that was a really the beginning of lockdown was, quite good for me, spiritually, because I could just organize my time how I wanted.

I was doing the commute or anything like that.

And I had this real hunger to get to know the Bible more.

And like I said, I woke up early to fit that into my day, and I had a really, you know, I had amazing kind of response, I'd say, from from god from that.

And I think that that set me up in really good habits.

And, you know, just to start my day always by doing that first because I could easily get distracted with other things.

But, yeah, I I I grew so much during that time as well.

And I think when you make god the priority of your day and not just give him the over bill of, oh, I gotta get this done.


Things can really change.



Good way.

So I'm glad to hear that it was a good time for you because I think quite a lot of us have had challenges in being stuck at stock at home in a way and and being left with all that free time that we didn't have previously, whether was there anything that you found a bit difficult in that time or? Yeah.

I mean, it was tough with, like, 2 very young children.


I I can imagine what under 2.

Oh, yeah.

And Greg was exceptionally busy as well.

So, yeah, I really missed people.

And but I try I've wherever I could, I tried to use it as an opportunity.

You know, I listened to audiobooks and, I would work on my business a bit as well.

So Yeah.

There there were definite hard times about it.




And finally, to finish with, If you had to give any advice to maybe a younger Christian or maybe even to someone who is from a Christian family and would call themselves a Christian but hasn't really made that commitment to following Christ.

What would you say to them? You know, something that really stuck out to me that I heard from the pastor of my old church.

And he was like, if you're struggling with something that you you know god wants you to live your life a certain way, he wants you to do a certain thing.


And that that's rooted in the Bible, and you know that that's true.

But you're struggling with doing that.

He was like, pray about it and try it on.

And, you know, I'm thinking in my mind, oh, yeah.

Kinda like a zara top.

I just try it on and see what happens.

See if I like it or not.

And and I feel like that gave me quite a lot of encouragement, actually, to to just try things out god's way And I think when you do, you won't look back.

You know, it's just far better way than you can ever imagine than than, you know, any plan that I can kind of craft and mastermind myself doing it his way is just so much better.

So I would just say, yeah, if there's if there's something specific in your life that you think actually, I think god wants me to do it this way.

Just trust him.


And try.

Dress out.


Thank you so much.

That's really encouraging.

Yeah, thank you for joining us today and for sharing your story with us.

So that's all everyone for this episode of sister stories, but join us again next time.


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