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 - 8. Maggie G.

In this episode, I am interviewing Maggie, who is married to David and has three children. She also works as a nurse. Listen to hear about her walk with the Lord and how her faith has grown over the years.

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.

My name is Sophie, and today I'm joined by Maggie.

Hello? Hi.

So Maggie, to start with, can you tell us who you are? Yeah.

I'm Maggie.

I'm married to David, and we have 3 children.

2 boys aged 11 and 18 and a 16 year old girl.

And I also, as well as being a mom and a wife I work part time as a community nurse.



So we're going to be talking about, your journey with the lord Jesus Christ.

But to start with, could you tell us a bit about your family background? Mhmm.

I grew up in the new forest, so I've got a rural area.

In the south of England.

I had both parents, very stable home.

I have 1 older sister, And we, yeah, we went to church every Sunday.

We went to a local Methodist church, so this involves Sunday school from a young age and, also main church meetings as well.

So I, yeah, grew up with that really.


And, can you tell us a little bit more about the experience of chess and and home as well.


So, so church, I I do remember Sunday school quite clearly I remember stories about Jesus.

I knew that he died for me.

I was told that he died for me, but I didn't really know what that meant, and I think I had a lot of questions that I didn't feel I could ask.

That was probably a mix of my personality.

I was quite shy.

Still am.

And yeah.

So not not feeling I could ask questions.

I also had a culture at home of not talking about spiritual things at all, which sounds quite strange, but church was part the culture of the family.

So on a Sunday, we'd go to church, and then we would come home and never talk about anything.

To do with church.

We might talk about individuals, but we'd never talk about spiritual things.

And I think that was you know, my dad had a tough background.

I, you know, I think he grew up in a broken home.

So a lot of things added into that, but I think also the era of you don't talk about politics and religion.

That was very much what I grew up with.

And but I had church blended into that, which sounds really odd, but it was something we did.

So certainly Sunday school, we were I I remember hearing about turning over a new leaf, so that was something that I heard repeatedly on a Sunday, but I didn't know I still don't don't know what they meant.

And to me, I suppose a leaf meant a tree leaf So somehow turning over a new leaf.


But I knew that that meant every Sunday, okay, I had to make more effort I knew Jesus had died for me.

I didn't know how that worked, but I knew I was a sinner.

So from quite a young age, I knew that I was a sinner, turning over a new leaf was something that I had to try to do, but it was all to do with my own effort.

And so I I did have this almost in my mind's eye, really, this pile of leaves building up that I I knew didn't work.

But I didn't know what the answer was.

So every Monday, I would make more effort.

I would try to not sin, but I knew that And I was quite a good girl, but I knew that the sin was in my heart.

You know, I wasn't openly, really rebellious, but I was I knew I was a sinner that I was under God's judgment.

So I had that going on, really, but know where to go with those questions, Yeah.

So did that translate into you just doing things that you knew were right? And and wanting to strive for that goodness and and these ways.

I think so.

Sort of probably, yeah, maybe being quite a good girl was something that was part of my identity, I think, of being known to be, so called good, but it didn't help the heart because I knew that the heart was wrong.

I knew I was selfish.

I knew I, you know, all of those heart things.

And yeah, so I think I was quite intense, probably, in in that I had all these questions with nowhere to go.


Did you have examples, models I guess, around you in the church or in your friends or people who were responding, who were able to respond to that in a sense.

Of, like, showing you a model of someone who is driving to be good, but also has that other side of the answer.

And so I'm actually willing to go to Christ and and what to do with that.

I'm not sure I had that.

I think I look back now, you know, my parents still live in the area.

I grew up, and I know individuals that were in the church who were youth leaders.

I know them now, and I think they were really genuinely well, it felt it feels like they were trying to help, but church culture was such that it was mainly social stuff that the youth group would be doing.

It wasn't any Bible stuff was really picking out individual verses from places and no in-depth study.

It was very shallow, so I, yeah, that was a that was something that I just didn't have the answer to.

It was a puzzle but I have nowhere to go.

So I think there were people modeling church in a sense, but it wasn't any there weren't conversations being had or any in-depth understanding that I had at all.

I wonder what your perception of god was, because that, obviously, we've gone through the more individual sides of it.

But what did you I mean, maybe you don't remember or or I'm not sure, but did you feel that you could relate to him as a father as as your savior or not? No.

Not real.

I think I felt fearful.

There were certain things I'd read where I knew I was under judgment.

And I 1 thing that sticks in my mind is so we had we had visiting preachers.

We had a lot of lay preachers, so people within the circuit So it was a big, what what they used to call a circuit of churches.

So it was a rural area.

There were about 12 churches, and people would go between churches and preach So there was never a series.

There were just individual sermons, but there was somebody that came from a bible college in Bournemouth who would come and preach sometimes, and I remember him coming and preaching on the second coming.

Now he probably said a lot of really good things.

But I do remember him saying I may not finish the sermon because Jesus might come back, and that absolutely terrified me because I felt like I knew that I wasn't right.

I didn't have the answer.

And he probably explained it, but in in my child's mind.

I don't know how old I was.

Maybe about 10 or 12, something like that.

I just thought I'm not gonna be in that group that saved And it's a post striking idea, isn't it? If you know that he's coming and the judge Yeah.

That's right.

It's not Yeah.

It's not reassuring.

If you're not securing Yes.

In your salvation.


That's right.

So I I think that, that really went on till I left home 18, I think.



So when you did leave home, what what changed and what happened? So I went off to university at 18.

I really was Drifting.

I would have said I was a Christian if I was well, would I, maybe, have said I was a Christian, but it I was drifting more by then.

I think I'd lost the intensity of feeling like I was under judgment, maybe.

I felt like, oh, my, you know, I'm okay.

I'm better than a lot of other people.

So had a bit of sort of shallow understanding about Jesus dying for me, no real relationship.

And I left home at 18 to go to university with no intent.

I I think in the back of my mind, I thought I'm I'll find a church, but I would have found a Methodist church like I knew.

That was all I knew.

So I would have gone in fact, well, I said in my mind, I would have done that, but first Sunday came and went, and I didn't, and I was sort of going on to sister.

But really quite quickly in my hall, I was aware of a girl who was a Christian who wasn't going along to all the bar, you know, stuff that freshest became for me is you know, just the going along with the crowd.

She was going to Christian union stuff.

And I can say it just so happened.

I know it was God's providence and kindness, but I was having breakfast 1 day.

I remember it was 1 of the first weekends, and she came and sat with me.

We haven't spoken before, and she just clearly said she was church the next day and was having a lift.

So there was a little journey to the church she was going, so I just asked go along as well just because I didn't have any better idea, but there was something very attractive about her because she was clearly knew what what she wanted to do.

She want, you know, she wanted to be a Christian.

She wanted to but but I've never seen that before.

I've never seen that sort of the per sort of person who was intentional about it.

So that yeah.

So it tagged along.


So do you know what was her background? Was she? So her back was, yeah, Christian family, evangelical church.

So that was her background.



That's really interesting how she just kind of zeroed in.








And so was that experience of church difference very different.

So, I mean, we're going back to the this is the late eighties, and the culture, you know, she would she would wear different clothes to church.

I'm not sure it would be like that now, but that in itself was different, but just going in it was it was quite a formal it was an evangelical church.

I'd never heard that word before, and I thought it sounded a bit weird and cultish to be honest.

I thought, what's evangelical? I don't know.

I didn't have a clue.

But it but I was immediately struck by the seriousness of the place, you know, it was it was a place where god's word was taken seriously.

And, it was, yeah, it was a sort of preaching where it was mainly 1 1 pastor doing the pre morning and evening, and it would be literally 1 verse a week.

You you know, on linear, isn't it? Yeah.

But it took 3 years to get through the book of Ephesians, you know, it'd be like, it would literally be 1 verse.

And that sort of systematic preaching, which I'd never come across before, but it was absolutely eye opening for me, really, really significant Yeah.


So is it through that church and potentially the CU that you you started learning more? Yeah.


And I think so that That church, so we well, it was Philippians and then ephesians I remember during my university years.

And then in the evening, they'd always do a gospel preach So it would be the same person preaching, morning, and evening, but he would do, an evangelical you know, evangelistic preach in the evening particularly.

So I remember 1 sermon in particular where he was so it was Matthew 22 where it was about the wedding banquet and the bit at the end really about the person in the wrong clothes.

Now that really struck me because all those years where I'd tried by my own effort to be good enough and to to be acceptable to god.

And but the the man was in the wrong clothes and he was passed at, you know, he wasn't allowed into the banquet in the end he was thrown out.

So it was really to do with the the righteousness of Christ.

It has to be his clothes, you know, that has to be.

So it it was it was years of of not understanding.

And then it was clicking in.

It was sort of building up and clicking into place.


Were these passages that you had read for yourself before and not understood, or have they completely need you? Yeah.

Maybe I had, but certainly, my eyes were opened, I would say that that I maybe had read them before, probably had, but hadn't seen it.

So, but also the, I think having grown up with so much fear and then understanding it's not just the answer to my fear, but actually loving Jesus.

So Christ is, you know, I need to love him.

It's not all to do with.

He's the answer to me not going to hell.

It's to do with understanding that it's It's Jesus.

It has to be the focus of my heart and my love, really.


And it's very different between so that is different that is very different from just doing things because it's a tradition or because what is what you meant to do.

And then you have the real picture of why why you should be doing these things.


That's right.


That's very helpful.


So, I assume that that's when you really came to understand the gospel during that time.

So I in lots of ways, I would say I became a Christian at university, but I think looking back, I can see god's hand in my life from a young age.

So in a sense, not knowing the exact time doesn't matter, I can look back and see that I certainly God was working my life as a child, Yeah.

And I think as well, in a sense, even if it wasn't complete understanding in your childhood, you need to understand that you're a singer.

So if I'm just understanding that from an engaged, a lot of us nowadays would not have that notion at all in our culture.

So if you don't understand using it, you won't understand why you need So in a sense, you're right.

He's kind of sowing he's sown little seeds in your life along the way, hasn't he? Yeah.



So quite a few years have passed.


Can you, I mean, can you take us through the the next 2 years and and how things developed for you and how you came to Kingston and all of that.

So I moved around to different locations really after university I went to, I did a year, working for a church in Oxford.

I then moved to I moved home for a little while, probably 6 months.

I was going to a different you know, I've chosen to go to a different church by then.

And then I moved to Nottingham.

It's my nurse training.

So Yeah.

But I sort of knew by then the churches to seek out, I suppose.

I'd so we had different church experiences in those places, definitely, but were was then in churches that preached the Bible consistently.

And yeah.

And then ended up moving to quite near here, so sort of chessington Epson direction for my first job as a nurse.

So that was, late '90s, yeah, so quite a long time ago.


How did you and David need? Yeah.

So that was Chestington Church.

So we were at Chestington Church for quite a few years.

So met there, we were doing.

So that really, that was the first time I'd sort of studied Romans systematically, I would say, and David was the bible study leader.

I see.


Right? And how long have you been married, though? 21 years.


21 years.




So did you then move to cornerstones? Yeah.

So when Cornerstone started, so it was called Fairfield.

So there were a few of us from Chestington that were asked to come.

So Peter Nann as well, and a few others.

So we came then.


To Fairfield if that became Cornerstone.


And then stuck around.




That's great.

Are you are you involved in this Sunday school if I'm Yeah.

That's right.


And that's been an amazing thing in a way that you know, I can, and 1 of the good things about getting older, so I'm now in my fifties, is looking back and seeing how gods use certain things.

Sometimes you don't see it at the time, but because I grew up with a the type of Sunday school where We'd hear stories about Jesus, but not with any particular, in-depth teaching, I suppose.

I can see that And then the church experience I had at uni where it was very, very detailed.

Very detailed.

And then being able do Sunday school where you take a step well, you know, we do bible overview stuff, don't we, as in going through the Bible with stories and seeing the bigger picture of salvation.

So that was something that I, so studying Romans at Chestington was significant, I would say, by blow overview there, we did as well, which which was significant, but doing Sunday school as well as the week, week in, week out preaching, that's helped me because it's taught me what I feel I missed as a child.

It's built up those that bigger picture.


I find the same when preparing it.

It's Yeah.

You just learn so much from it as well.

And being able to just then explain when you have to explain it to your child is very different.

That's great.

If we could if we go to more recent times, I mean, I guess this was fairly recent anyway, But, what, what would you say you've learned in the last year or so? So something we have looked at, particularly as a home group, is the subject of forgiveness.

And Jesus is very clear that we should forgive others as we have been forgiven but I think we've we've looked at that in-depth, and we've looked at it with certain bigger stories on Christian forgiveness, and realizing, I suppose it's realizing that, yes, we should forgive others.

That's what Jesus tells us to do, but it needs to come from a heart of wanting good in the person that you are forgiving and wanting the best for them.

It's not just to do a gritting your teeth and sort of feeling like you should.

But it's really what's coming from the heart of wanting good for them.

And it would only be possible It is only possible by god's help, and it's only possible if we really believe that we're forgiven by grace alone that actually you know, we we are forgiven by god, and that's not not deserved.

So that's been quite significant because I don't think it's you know, we looked at big stories of people forgiving the murderers of their children and things like that but often in normal daily life, it's those little nickels that often eat away or can be har harbored in our hearts, I think.

But it's sort of looking at the fact that we should be forgiving because we're forgiven.


That's a great lesson to learn.

Isn't it? It's it's a hard 1.


It is a hard 1, and it's not something that I think you just tick off and you've done it.

It's something you have to keep coming back to the lord with that, you know, it's it's something that comes back to you.

Sometimes you think, you know, it's a process that you have to keep doing.



And that's very important in the context of churches, isn't it? Because we all together all the time.


And that's where those little niggles, I think, can eat away.

And it's really important that we question our hearts and, oh, have we really forgiven that person? Yeah.



And what what advice would you give to younger Christians as a mom or as a slightly older, Experian.

I think, I think it feeds into what I've talked about today really of having relationships around you where you can be real and where you can ask questions of and who who you become vulnerable with.

And that won't be lots of people, but it's quite easy in church life to have lots of quite superficial relationships to know a lot of people a bit, but it's having people and it will and should be your spouse, but it should also be a few others, actually, where you are real with where you can ask questions of because I know different stages of my life.

I look back and the lord gave me different people different ages as well of people who, I could share life with and do normal things with.

And, but be able to have those conversations.

And yeah.


Actually, I was thinking we haven't really talked about your children or being a month for you, but, I'm sure people can come and ask you about that if they want to.

But, I wonder whether for your children, whether that's actually a great example to see as well and to be in a church where they do mix with a lot of different ages.

I certainly try to talk to Joshua quite a lot like Shania when I see him.

So, although he's still very quiet yeah, it's nice to be able to touch him.

I wonder whether they've experienced that in the church, actually, and what way to go.

I think so.

And I think it's different because church is family, isn't it? And it's different ages.

And, so and and home group lends itself to that, I think, which is where we do church on a smaller level, I think, of relationships.

That's where they Well, that's where that should be happening, I think, is those relationships.

So they're quite used to seeing the older members of the home group, you know, in our house, regularly and others as well.

But, yeah, I think they've had a an upbringing worth things are talked about more openly than I had, and, and so my parents, you know, they're still around.

They see that.

So I think that is something that is different for them as well.


That's great.


Thank you very much, Maggie.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

And, thanks, everyone, for listening.

That's all for today's episode of to stories, but join us again.


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