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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S2 - 11. Laura G.

In this episode, I am interviewing Laura, who is an accountant. She is married to Craig and they have a son, Ezra, and a second child on the way. Listen in to hear about her journey to faith and how the Lord brought her to a personal relationship with him.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sister stories podcast.

This podcast's aim is to marvel at God's sovereignty over each of our lives as we and to encourage 1 another by sharing our stories.

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

Hi, Laura.



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

So my name is Laura, obviously.

I'm an accountant.

I work in the city.

I'm married to Craig and I have a 1 year old son called Ezra and another 1 on the way.



And so we're going to talk a little bit about your journey to faith in Christ.


But to start off, could you tell me a bit about your family background? Yeah.

So I grew up in a Christian household, but my parents came to faith when I was young, so we didn't Really start going consistently to church until I was around 6.

But, yeah, so I did I did grow up with faith in the house, which was a blessing for sure.

And can you describe for us a little bit what type of church? We're going to what it was like to be in that church.


So, we went to quite a conservative church in Wimbledon.

It was a great church for good, theological teaching but I found it slightly oppressive as as a young person to be in that church.

But it gave me a really good basis of theological knowledge, which has served me very well later down the night.


So Did you have a Sunday school or a youth group or or some kind of? Yeah.

So we went to Sunday school.

All the normal groups sent to youth groups, and then we also went to summer camps, Christian summer camps, from when I was about 11 to when I was 18.

So, yeah, we did.


So would you say that, you had a clear exposure to the gospel at that point that you You had heard it and you knew where the gospel was? I would say that I I definitely had, probably an intellectual understanding of of what the gospel was.

I knew that Jesus had died to save me, and that was because I was sinful.

But I think for me, when I was younger, it was much more of a head knowledge than a heart knowledge.



So I wonder with that, what you thought of god at the time, whether it was so you're saying it's it didn't really apply to your life.



What did you think about god's? Did you think he was your father, or did you think he was just this distant figure? I probably thought I had an understanding that he was my father.

I think my A lot of my struggle was with the church that I was at and was I felt like I had an understanding of grit it felt a lot more, like, there was pressure to be a certain way and to act a certain way.

Without a full appreciation of the fact that we are humans and we're sinful and we mess up all the time.



So, would you say that all that knowledge you had had an impact before, was it just, as you say, something you try to fall in terms of rules, but not really, I don't know, an attitude change, I guess.


I I feel like my heart wasn't really changed at that point.

So I I had an understanding of how I should be or how I should feel, but I I didn't feel like my heart was really changed to act that way, and that's what I slightly battled with.

As a teenager and then leaving, home to go to university.


Tell us a bit about what happened when you went to university.


So, I went to university in London.

I almost immediately met met a boy that I started going out with and a lot of my university life was, I guess, dominated by that relationship.

I also went to a university that was quite hard work.

It wasn't an ease an easy time trying to get a degree.

So, I worked quite hard because I had to And I did I I knew that I should be going to church, and I tried a couple of churches, but didn't settle into 1 or felt like places where, particularly welcoming or yeah.


So you quickly stopped going to church, then that time.

But I just didn't I was never consistent with it, so I'd visit a church and then maybe I'd go back 3 weeks later or I'd start doing the student ministry, but I I wouldn't be a I wouldn't be committed to doing it at, like, it would be very easy for me to something would come up and I just wouldn't go.

So, yeah, I I feel like I knew that I should, but my, again, my heart was not the motivation of my heart was not right.



I wonder from then how How you ended up coming back towards the church? Maybe can you tell us a little bit about what happened next, really, and how how that change happens? Yeah.

Of course.

So The guy that I met at university, he he had an understanding that I professed to be a Christian and that it was important to me that he had the same faith.

So he professed that faith, and we We ended up getting married.

But I don't think for him, it was ever it he was saying it for me rather than It was actually something that he believed in or valued.

So, yeah, we got married and very quickly after we got married.

His mental health declined very, very quickly.

And so we were married for 4 years, and I did my best to try and make it work and support him, but it was, it was very difficult.

And that so in the end, we, in not great circumstances ended up splitting up, and I was very angry with god at that time.

So I spent the next few years really trying to find fulfillment in all the things of this world that you try and find fulfillment in.

I was quite successful in my career.

I was going out a lot.

I spent a lot of time with friends, but really my mental health had suffered.

So, I found myself very depressed, very anxious.

My head just was not a nice place to be.

And in the end, I just felt like I really just needed get stuck back into a church, but having had the experiences I'd had with the church I grew up in, I was slightly anxious about doing that particularly because I was divorced by that point.

So God was very greatest in needing me to a church, that was very close to my house and the timing worked.

And I just found myself driving there every Sunday.

It was not a It was not a hard decision to go or something that I had to force myself to do.

I just found myself going, and really it was from there.

I got stuck into that church.

And, yeah, just got brought back to relationship with god and and a and that I would say was when my heart really changed.

My my motivations for going and getting involved were Not because I felt like I had to anymore.


Is there something, something in particular? Oh, there's, I guess, sorry.

Do you feel like it was just all this all these emotions that forced you to go back to god? Cause you you felt a need for him, or were there maybe people in the church that encouraged you or or things you heard in the teaching that encourage you to go in that direction? Or maybe is it a mix of everything as well? I think it was a bit of a mix.

I definitely felt like I knew that god it was god that was missing.

It wasn't that I was searching for what was missing.

I I knew that it was it was god.

And then going going to this church, I think I was I was blessed by the people that I met and going to a church knowing absolutely no 1 is pretty daunting.

By just managed to get stuck in with people who had they had I guess things that I could relate really closely to, so I made really good friends with 1 girl whose brother had just got divorced.

And so she had a real understanding of everything that goes with that and the emotions.

And so that was a real I didn't I never felt judged there, and I think that was really important to me.


Do you feel there was then very far away from your church when you were little then? Yeah.

I've yeah.

It felt it felt much more just open to people being people and us being fallen and everything that comes with that.

Obviously, there was an acceptance that We're we're on a journey, and that's not the end goal that, god doesn't want us to, go through those things and and marriages to fall apart, but things happen.

And I felt like there was much more of an acceptance that we do live in a in a fallen world.


I wonder how your family responded, even if there were Christians, but how how did they respond to your journey really into all these stages in your life.


I think for for my parents, it was it was really hard.

And a lot of the time They didn't really know how to help me.

I remember my mom once asking me, what can I do to help you? And my response was you can't really do anything.

It's just not My own head is not a nice place to be at the moment.

And they were desperate for me to go back to church.

So When I went back to church, I think they were just very relieved.

The church that I went to was a much more charismatic church.

So I think there was a they were slightly hesitant in some ways about what the teaching was there, but they were just overall.

Completely joyful that I was there.


So That's good.


I'm sure they were frank.

Maybe they said that to you after that they were praying for you anyway.


I mean, I think to my parents, the fact that I am where I am now is just an absolute miracle.

So having seen what, I guess, what happened, like, particularly over my twenties.



I think for all of us, it is a miracle, wherever we've come from, that that we've just been able to turn our eyes towards Christ, really.

It's just a miracle, isn't it? Yeah.


And I think The fact that I just found myself driving to that church every week is just a testament to, like, none of it was in my own strength because when I tried to do it in my own strength, It all went horribly wrong.







Can you I we haven't finished the story because, obviously, you are married to now Craig.


And you have Ezra and, all of that.

So can you tell us a little bit how how that happened? How you met? Yep.

So I was going to that church for a couple of years.

And I was I really I really wanted to meet someone, but it just wasn't really happening for me.

I ended up going on a Christian day sight because my mom told me she felt like I needed to.

And so I went on there and, ended up meeting Craig We started talking when I was on a mission trip in the Philippines.

So we spent a couple of weeks, chatting, and then almost as soon as I got back, we went into lockdown.

But, we managed to to meet up, and then Just spent a lot of lockdown, chatting on the phone.

We did bible studies together, talked about lots of different subjects and, just really made sure that we had an understanding of what was important to 1 another.

And then we got married in September 2020, and then had Ezra about 10 months later.


Don't waste it.

Never whirlwind.

No waiting around.


Exactly well.



That's great.

And obviously, you've you've arrived in Cornerstone.

How did you hear about Cornerstone? How did you come to come here, really? Yeah.

So, Craig went to a church in Market Harbor, that was part of FIEC.

And when we were going through our pre marriage counseling, with his pastor, Johnny, We really discussed what kind of church we would end up at.

And Johnny, has a good understanding of Cornerstone and of Pete and the kind of church.

Always helpful.

I know.

And, the kind of church that Cornerstone is the amount of, just amazing works that goes on here and and how involved it is as a church and suggested that it would be a good fit for both Craig and I because for me, that was 1 of the things I was concerned about having come from a very conservative background that I found difficult.

I then ended up in quite a charismatic church, which was not where Craig was at the time.

So 1 of my biggest worries was even though we had, Theologically, the same basis was finding a church that suited us both.

And I think it's safe to say we found that in Cornerstone.


That's good.



So it feels like your your married life was probably quite intense from the beginning.

Can you tell us a little bit about things you have learned in that time of being in lockdown and just newlywed and all of that.

And also in the last couple of years, I guess.


So I think I think definitely having a good theological basis and understanding that you're both on the same page with those absolutely non negotiable things is really important.

And whilst I definitely had issues with the church I was at when I was younger, the teaching set me up really well for for later in life.

I also would say that me and Craig had disagreements about various different things, or we would challenge each other.

And whilst that sometimes can be difficult, Actually, it was such a learning opportunity, for me.

And I'm very lucky to live with a very wise man who I can ask questions of all the time when I don't understand something.

And he even if he doesn't know the answer, he will help me think about those things.

So I would definitely say having a good theological basis and finding wise people to ask questions of, is really important.

And then I found having Ezra is just the It's probably the most sanctifying thing that you could possibly go through because in marriage, you obviously get chipped away at your selfish, tendencies, but having a having a child is that on an absolute another level.

So that's been a journey for sure, and I've been blessed to be supported by various people and It's amazing to be in a church where there are lots of, moms and babies and people that you can, call upon for help as and when you need it.


And it's amazing how even through being exposed to various types of churches.

And as you said, having anxiety, you're finding the right church for you.

Got brought brought you to these different churches along the way, but here, ultimately, and and finding their middle ground, as you were saying, for both of you, and hopefully growing in that environment as well.


If there was 1 thing that you feel god has been teaching you in throughout these years, what would you say it is? I think probably to trust in him and him no matter what your plans are, they might not be his plans.

And in difficult times, I've really been taught that I just need to turn to him.

And actually when you have nothing else, like, god is always good.


And if you fall on your knees, and call out to him.

He's listening.

So I think that's been and I that's come out in the past few years in difficult times.

That my family have been through and, particularly with illnesses that my reaction was to just fall down on my knees and call out to him rather than question him and why things were happening.



And it's important, isn't it? Cause you went from a very head knowledge of who god was, which is obviously very important.

But then learning in your life how to depend on him through these situations that you were that he brought you through, really.

So in a sense, Yeah.

He brought about that that miracle of you turning from something very intellectual Yeah.

To something very personal.


Much deeper, really.


And I and I feel like investing in spending time getting to know god better and investing in your relationship with him is invaluable.

And I'm still on a journey with that.

For sure, but it's you can't replace it, really.



That's alright.

If there was a piece of advice you would give to perhaps younger Christians or people on that journey, what would you say to them? That's a hard 1.

I probably would say to to to find those people that are, perhaps older than you or more knowledgeable than you or further along in the journey to ask questions of and don't be scared to challenge yourself on things that are difficult or you find emotionally challenging just because the the Bible will have an answer.


It's just finding finding it and understanding it and, helping helping you to trust in the lord.


I think we all need to remember that, sounds great.

That's great.

Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing your story with us today.

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


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