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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S3 - 10. Susan D.

In this episode, I am interviewing Susan, who is married to Matt and has two young children. She trained in Fine arts and is currently a stay-at-home mum. Listen to hear about her walk with the Lord from the early years of her life, and how he has used various churches to deepen her faith and understanding of the Word.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sister stories podcast.

The aim of this podcast is to marvel at god's sovereignty over each of our lives as women, and to encourage 1 another by sharing our stories.

So my name is Sophie, and today I'm joined by Susan.




Sebastian, well, can you tell us who you are? Yes.

My name is Susan.

I'm married to Matthew.

We've been married for 13 years.

It would be 14 in December, and we've got 2 children, Evangeline, who we say called Evie, she's 5, and Gable, who's 2.



And, what do you do? What's what's your And I'm a stay at home mom.

So it's busy.




And so we're going to be talking about your walk with the lord Jesus Christ, throughout your life.

But can you start with telling us about your family and your background? Yes.

So, I grew up with my mom and my dad and 2 older sisters, Caroline, and Jan, we grew up in basing stoke.

My family's originally from Scotland, but we moved for my dad's job So yeah.

And we went to, church growing up.

I had the privilege of being in Christian home.

And, we so we went to church every Sunday, quite charismatic church growing up.

For my the 1st church that we went to was very charismatic.

Can you tell us a little bit more about, what you heard at this church, what what you knew of god at that time? Yeah.

So I went to Sunday school every every Sunday.

And, I mean, my I remember 1 Sunday school where we did, like, a pass of, being in heaven.

And so, and we had to sort of write something in the passport And I remember I just wrote, I love god.

I love Jesus.

I love god.

So, so, yeah, I have a very basic understanding of who god was at that stage.

Obviously, he heard a lot about Jesus.


So yeah, there's different Lee has been in my life from the very beginning, which is great.



And and how long were you at that churchful.

Yeah, so we were at the charismatic church from right when we moved from be to be zinc stoke when I was a baby until I was about 16.

So the charismatic church had a school connected to it.

It was a bit like a homeschool that got out of hand, I think, because it was quite quite a small school, And often when I say, I went to a Christian school, people immediately think, oh, that must have been a church of England school, but it it wasn't.

But it was great to have a Christian influence at school as well because you know, I'm still I was hearing about Jesus all the time.

Yeah, so I'm hearing about Jesus.

And 1 of the things that I really did enjoy was that we'd have assemblies, a worship session in assemblies, not all the time, but sometimes.

And that was definitely a lot of fun.

And, and obviously, like, religious studies was all just Bible that we didn't actually learn about any other religions.


So, yeah, it was a big big part of my academic life as well as sun on Sundays.


So did you feel like you were mostly surrounded by Christians at that stage of your life.

And how did you engage with other people that were not Christians? Yeah.

I definitely felt like I was in a Christian bubble.

And I just assumed that everyone around me must be a Christian.

And later on realized that wasn't the case.

But, you know, we we'd all heard about Jesus, and you it's kind of you can't escape it, really.

You you're gonna learn about god, hear about him regularly.

So, yeah, I I don't think I actually came across a lot of non questions, and maybe that made me a little bit fearful.

Particularly with evangelism, I wouldn't know where to start really without telling other people about Jesus.


I wonder as well whether, whether there was a time when you questioned these things that you were taught or were you just or did you just accept them and, and therefore, didn't have that, not necessarily doubt, but, I guess, opportunity to explore other world views.

Would you say you, you had that chance or not, not necessarily? That's a good question.

I I think, I never I don't remember a time doubting, that god existed.

I'm a very creative person, so just, you know, the world around you think that there has to be a god, and it just made sense to me.


It's it's interesting because, yeah, when, I guess, being brought up in that in that, environment, makes you it's it's good that you knew god and you had that relationship with him very early on.

And it's interesting then how you would navigate a world where there are many different beliefs as a result.

So maybe you can get on to that, actually, just a little bit.

And, yeah, and what happens next and how how you got to engage maybe with different beliefs or or people who would say different things, actually.


That's very interesting.

And, yeah, I wonder when So, obviously, you were there for quite a long time of a long period of your life.


By year 11, would you say that you had a strong faith in Christ, or or were you still exploring things still unsure about about things? I I definitely think that my understanding of viable wasn't great at that age.

I knew what Jesus had done for me.


I knew died me and, for my sins, but, I think I had a lot of gaps in my understanding, particularly the old testament.

I really struggled to read it.

I thought I'll just skip to the gospels because I can kind of understand what's going on there.

But, Yeah.

I still had a lot of learning to do.

I would say that I didn't find school very easy, so I lent on god a lot to just help me.


I I definitely felt that I was trusting in god, but I'm also when you're younger, you sort of you take a while to understand things anyway.

So, you know, you're growing as a person as well.

You're also growing in your understanding of the Bible.

But, yeah, when, when I left school, we, my parents made the decision to leave the church leave the charismatic church, go to the Anglican church.


And so I think at that point, I grew a lot more in my sort of understanding of the Bible, and that's where I got baptized because I had wanted to get baptized much younger when I'd seen friends get baptized around 12.


And but I think when I went to the Anglican church, we went through a course, and so I was able to fully understand what that all meant.

And, you know, I was in the right place, I think.


And to know exactly what what why you would get baptized and yeah.



So I bet.

That was that was good to to wait.


I was disappointed not to get baptized younger, because I felt probably around 12 that I knew what what I was doing, but it was definitely good to to wait and and do other Anglican church, I think.



So did that church bring, a stronger understanding of the gospel in you or what was a bit what was different in that church? Well, it was it was very different.

I mean, I was I was used to, women taking off their shoes and putting, you know, ribbons in the air and dancing socks and sandals.

Tambourines on the side of your your leg and lots of dancing and hands the air and things.

So to go from that to an anglica ditch was a big big change.

And I think the way that they treated the Bible was very different, 1 of the reasons that my parents wanted to leave the charismatic church was a couple of times, the the preacher would say we're not gonna I have prepared a sermon today, but we're not going to we're not going to do that because we're just gonna let the Holy Spirit speak to us today.


And that So when we went to the Anglic and Church, that never happened, and there wasn't so much dancing, but the way people worship, you could tell that they loved Jesus, and they were singing from from their hearts And, yeah, the preaching was was good.

I was taking a lot more notes, to the sermon.

So Yeah.

And there's good that god provided that that time of your life where you had maybe stronger preaching and teaching and that can build your face, constantly.



And I think when I went to uni to look for a church, I def I definitely was looking for a church that helped me understand the Bible more.


Is that when you came to Cornerstone as well? Yes.

So, when I came to Kingston uni, the the the Christian union.

And I think there were so many people from Cornerstone or Fairfield at the time that also went to the CU.

So It just made sense to also go to the same church, and you'd see the same people a few times a week.

So you got close to those people quite quickly, made friends quickly.

And I think the CU and Cornerstone filled a lot of gaps as well.

We did the Roman study I think Pete Nairn wrote, and that had a big impact on me, actually, because I knew the basics about Jesus, but It was it was a bit of a, oh, that's how it all fits.

And, you know, that's how you see the big picture.




So that was really how for.


So how long have you been in constant now? So I started coming in 2006 when I came to do fine art, and then, yeah, never left.


I I was determined actually, but I wasn't gonna leave the area because I think a few students went home after they finished, and I was like, that's not gonna happen.

I'm gonna get a job, make sure I can stay in the area, because once you find her a good church, you just don't you don't wanna leave.



That's good.

And also because I was dating him and I didn't want him to forget I exist.

Oh, come on.

How could you forget, Susan? So, did you find a job in the area in Yes.

I've got a lot of temporary jobs.

1 was at a debt sectors, which that was a pretty low point actually of my career.

And but, you know, Yeah.

It could have been worse.

I could have been on the dole, which is what a lot of fine art people say that that's what they go on to Yeah.

To do.

But, yeah, just temp temporary jobs.

And then, yeah, when and I got married, I was still doing a lot of temporary jobs just to get, experience.


Yeah, I didn't really go into anything too arty.

After after my degree.



Did you still carry on on the sides, though, doing drawings? Or It's definitely more of a hobby now.


But I guess, you know, when you're gearing up to, I'm gonna do a degree in art.

You think this is what I'm gonna do now.

I'm gonna be be painting.

And Yeah.

But The reality is very different.

It is.


I Yeah.

I just thought I just need to start working.

And I think I lack some confidence in my art.

As well.

I think 1 of the things that I struggled with was I wanted to show something about my faith in my artwork and I couldn't work out how to do that without it being really cheesy.

And then it was only a revived, like years later, that someone said because god is the ultimate creator.


Whatever you create can give him glory.

Like, I wish someone had told me that when I was in my degree because I just take the pressure off myself a bit more.





That's right, I guess.



You could be creating all kinds of things and and reflect him.



Oh, that's great.

So, yeah, so you talked a little bit about the different churches you went to and how you faced grew in that time.

If we take things a little bit closer to now, how would you say god is taught you in the last year or so, or maybe a little bit longer if you want to.

Well, obviously, I was thinking about this past year.

And right at the beginning of this year, in January, I broke my foot coming downstairs.

And it was very painful.

But I think 1 of the things that I found encouraging was that the support that I got from people at church.

So, yeah, shout out to the Rolfes who drove me to ANE and organized meal rotors and lifts to go different places.

I think as a mom, you wanna feel like you're able to do everything and be in control, but actually when when you broke your foot, when I broke my foot, it was at least 6 weeks.

So I wasn't gonna to do the same amount of things.

So I was definitely learning humility, and not being too proud to ask for help as well.



So, yeah, going back a little bit, in the sense, over your whole life so far.

So you talked to us a little bit about how different churches have brought you different things about god and understanding, really, about god.

But I wonder about your your more personal relationship with him and whether that has changed over time and how that has deepened, really, over time.

Could you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah.

I think, Well, you know, just talking to god, just, you know, I will just talk to him, praying to him, And, you know, he, you know, he can help us in all all of our life.

I would say prayer is is what, helps me grow in my faith with him, talk to him about everything, even just asking him questions sometimes, what's gonna happen with this Yeah.

And I think prayer shows our absolute dependency on him.

And and there isn't anywhere else that you find that, you know, having a a god that is relational And that is what I find amazing about our god is that we can come to him about everything.

And knowing that he is sovereign, you know, whatever happens he knows and he's in control, that is a great comfort because it doesn't matter what we plan because there's been a few things that I've thought this is what I'd like to do, or this is the path I want to go.

And then it just doesn't work out.


And you think, oh, I don't know why.

And then when you look back, because it you know, I'm 36 now.

So there's been a few years, that you look back and you think, oh, that is why that was a no then.


Or that is why god made me white for something.

And that's that's how when you when you now think, okay, I'm gonna pray or I'm gonna ask god for something or things feel hard sometimes.


You're saying at I know from past experience that he's always been faithful, and he's always always been in control, and I just have to keep, yeah, keep trusting in him.


And sometimes it's hard to bring you you to look back and and to remember that, but actually knowing that is really how isn't it? Oh, definitely.


And then you can just adjust your behavior in the sense of, like, actually, no.

I know this is the case.

So I'm just going to hang on and and carry on really.

So Oh, definitely.



Has that changed when you became a mom as well? Has that deepened as she became a mom? Yes.

I definitely.

I definitely think you, yeah, you get married and, I would say, you get married and then you think, oh, actually I'm a really selfish person, and I actually do need to, keep trusting god to help me as a as a wife, and then you become a mom and be like, oh, yes.

I'm not actually in control of anything.

And I'm not in control of them becoming Christians even.

And you, you know, you can put them in a place where they're gonna be hearing about Jesus, but the main thing is to keep praying for them, keep praying for you know, your your spouse and your kids, you know, that's the most important thing that you can be doing.



And, lastly, if you had any advice to share with a younger Christian, what what would you say to them? Well, it's definitely not something I've mastered, but I've been thinking recently about how tired you can be, and just weary things.

And then people say, oh, I need a bit me time.

And you say, oh, I'm just gonna relax in front of the TV or whatever.

But actually where you find real rest is in god.

And So that's what I would say is just being in god's word and prayer and, you know, going to church or home group.

Those things sometimes you're like, I can't I can't do it tonight.

I always find the time I've thought I really don't want to go tonight.

Those are when I've actually grown quite a lot.

I actually really needed to hear those things.

So that's, yeah, look for rest in God, not other other things.


That's really important.


Because it can be really easy to fill our lives with all kinds of other things, which are good.

But, ultimately, if we're not anchored in this truth, then then it's not going to be the most helpful thing for us Yes.

In the long term.


That's great.

And thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Susan.

And thanks everyone for, listening.

That's all for today's of sister's stories, but jokes.

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