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 - 3. Lauren C.

In this episode, I am interviewing Lauren, who is married to Dan. She is a member of Cornerstone Church and a mum of two little girls. Listen in to be encouraged of the joy of being united with God's church and his sovereign care.

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 life as women and to encourage 1 another via our stories.

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



Thanks for joining me.

First of all, can you tell us a bit about who you are? Yeah, I'm Lauren, I've been coming to Cornerstone for nearly 15 years.

I'm married to Dan, and we have 2 little girls.


Thank you.

And what do you do? Stay at home at the moment.



I thought we'd mentioned that just in case.



So we're going to be talking about you journey to faith and you walk with the lord Jesus Christ.

But to start off, can you tell me a bit about your Emily background, how you were brought up? Yeah.


So, I'm the eldest of 3 girls, and my mom and dad, aren't Christians.

And my sisters are 5 and 6 years younger than me.

So I was, by myself for quite a while.

And my dad worked abroad a lot.

So my mom brought us up.

And she she did always take us to church, for the 1st kind of few years, as a kind of that's what you do with children.

She'd been brought up going to church.

That's what you did on a Sunday morning, and so she did the same with us.



So is that how you first wear in contact with the gospel? Or Yeah.

I remember very little.

Of it.

I remember going off to the Sunday school.

My sister's not wanting to go because they didn't wanna be away from my mom.

And I don't remember any of the teaching, but I do remember always believing that there was a god.

I believed in this man called Jesus, and that he died and risen again.

And so I can remember believing that from a very young age.



Can you tell us a little bit how that developed later on and maybe how you came to a true faith in in Jesus Yeah.

So, after a while, my mom stopped taking us to church, but I was still interested.

And I had a children's Bible at home and I would try and read that by myself.

Didn't really understand it, but think I grabbed some basics from it.

Like, I knew that god has made the world.

So, yeah, the beginnings of teachings.

And then when I was a teenager, I was able to go out by myself.

So not every Sunday, but fairly frequently, I would walk to a local church and just go in there and listen to the service.

I didn't really know what church was supposed to look like.

But it for me, it's just shown how god had put that interest in my heart even even from then.

And interestingly, I do also know that there were people praying for me.

Members of my family, a lot of them are Christians, and so underneath all of this very slow understanding, they were they were praying for me.


So that was kind of the the beginning.



So were you able to carry on and and join that church properly, let's say, or not really? Not really.

I don't think I haven't really I didn't really realize it was something that you could join as such.

And then I left and came to uni.


And hadn't come to uni thinking, oh, I'll find a church or anything like that.

Didn't bring a Bible to uni with me.

It definitely wasn't something that I felt had, you know, an everyday importance in my life.

There was just this real basic I believe in God.

But I went to the freshers fair, and the only way I can describe it is God put his hand on my back and pushed me towards the CU stand.

I'd never heard of a CU.

It wasn't the most interesting of the stands.

It wasn't giving away all the fun free stuff.

But I ended up there, and I ended up talking to these really nice people who wanted to talk about Jesus.

And I went to the CU meetings I met young Christians who were looking for a church and I kind of thought, oh, that that's a good idea.

I'll I'll do that as well.

And at the time, Pete was doing some of the bible studies with with the Christian union, and we were reading through Ephesians, and it begun to began to strut skinburn.

I don't know what the word is.

Just and to strike me that there needed to be a response from me.

And I was reading, like, about not getting a junk on wine as this all lead to debauchery, and that was what I saw all around me as a student and would be partaking in as a student and really being struck that something had to change.

My life didn't reflect to things that I was slowly beginning to believe.

And understand.

So I set about very much in my own strength to go out and not be drinking, which was very difficult for me because I think I felt like that was the only way I could make friends.

So I I was failed because I was doing it in my own strength.


And learned that I needed to rely on the lord to be able to do these things.

Through a very, kind friend who would pray with me and ask me how it went, when she knew I was going out and things like that, and the lord brought me through that.

And I also remember being like, oh, I need a Bible and buying going out and buying 1.

And on a student loan and not having much money, I it kind of it meant something to me.

I if that was something I really needed to spend my money on.

And I remember reading it by myself, I'm just crying at realizing that Jesus had died for me personally and that he'd given up the glory of heaven that he'd had.

For so long, and he'd done it for me personally, not not that any wishy washy early day died.

It was it was for me and it was massive.

I find it really interesting how it seems that you responded in in action first and in being convicted of your own behavior first and then and then understood why that was relevant, why that was important.

Is is that accurate? So Yeah.

I think so.

I mean, I I believe that Jesus had died, but I just thought that's a nice thing to do for everybody, and I didn't understand the weight of that, and it hadn't become very personal at that point.

I just knew that I wasn't living in the way that he would want me to and that needed to change.

But the more I read, the more I understood just what a sacrifice he made for me as an individual as the 1 who sins and hangs him on that cross.


So, can you take us from there and and how how that phase grew, what's happened next really in your life.


So, I was coming along to Cornerstone, getting involved in the CU.

In my second year as a student, I started going out with Dan.

And he'd been brought up in a Christian home.

So that was something quite different for me to experience and to meet his family.

And so he was a real encouragement to me in being committed to the church and to reading the word, and still is.

And in when something comes up in life, actually turning to what god says as the as the first line of what you do.

So, yeah, god's just kept teaching me through through those those different things through through the struggles often a lot more because that's when we realize how much we need we need him and we're not in control.


So you came at you came to what was Fairfield Church.

Is that correct? Yeah.

And then it evolves in Cornerstone.




So how how long ago was that? I think in September, it'll be 15 years.


Oh, sorry.

You said that earlier.

That's okay.

I forgot.

My bad.


That's great.

So, obviously, it's been quite a while and things have happened, including you having 2 beautiful daughters.


I don't know.

Can you tell us a little bit more about how your life developed after that? And yeah.

So I really, I had some big struggles with my mental health.

And it's still my testimony today that I wouldn't be here without knowing Jesus.

I wouldn't have seen the point in in carrying on, to be quite honest.

And the lord was then kind enough to, again, slowly bring me through that.

He he couldn't can take you straight out of it, but he teaches us in the pain.

And he's always with us even when we feel like he's not.

And the blessing of other people always accepting me when I was just a mess and not really able to serve anybody else and just needed love.

And then, yeah, the law gave us to beautiful children that once upon time would just I really hoped for and didn't know that we would have.

Did suffer a lot of, complications after having either, which was incredibly difficult.

And again, the church came alongside me and carried me, and prayed for me, and I got to know more people because people were sending me cards and saying we're praying for you.

And I'm like, I don't know this person.

But it was the most wonderful thing.


And 1 thing when Eva was a baby and it'd been really difficult.

My uncle was also diagnosed with terminal cancer.

And I really saw how the lord prompts us by the Holy Spirit to to make a choice to to do something or not and how difficult it can feel, but how kind god is to use us like that.

And I felt that I really needed to make sure he knew about Jesus.

Because he was he was gonna go soon.


And I didn't want to be disrespecting this man on his deathbed, but he needed to know.

And that was the most loving kind thing I could do to him.

And so I wrote to him, because he was a bit far away.

And told him about Jesus and included verses.

And then When he died, I went to his funeral and found out that he had been studying the Bible with the local pastor.

And he'd planned his whole own funeral, which was just so evangelistic.

All it aimed to do was tell people about Jesus.

He had been studying the very same verses that god had put on my heart to send to him at the same time.

And I went to that funeral feeling so sad at losing him.

And I can remember my sadness turning to absolute joy at knowing that he was with Jesus.


And it was just wonderful to to be part of seeing how god can use us.



That's amazing.

And and seeing how that happens in the church as well and how we Yeah.

We experience things.

And then someone says something and confidence us in we we don't expect it, and we should expect it, actually, because that comes that definitely comes from god, most of the time.

So Yeah.

And how when the spirit prompts us.


We can say yes to that.

It can be difficult to say yes to that.


But god does right things.



And we we need that push as you were describing to get towards the sand.

Oh, yeah.

Or to go and send a letter to our uncle.




And I wonder how the rest of your family, responded to your faith and and how how they respond today even.


It's been interesting watching them as my my journey of faith has continued, because it's become clear to them it's not a a phase.

Different members of my family react differently.

My dad thinks I'm absolutely mad.

But I think he's absolutely mad for not believing in Jesus.


He's a fairy.


My mom is very nice about it.

And very pleasant.

And then my sisters just don't mention it, to be honest, they they have done.

We I've certainly shared the gospel with them and, told them various stories from Bible, but it tends to be quite an avoided subject now.

But the thing about having young children and raising them in a love and a knowledge of the lord is that they come out with things.

And make people feel very uncomfortable.

And it's wonderful.

They are fantastic, evangelical tools.

So that's been interesting to see how they respond to how we raise the girls and how they can they can question it, or not agree with it.


But it is a fantastic way to to stand out and really show that, yes, my life is is for Jesus.



So, yeah, so it's been, what, roughly 17, 20 years.

That you're a Christian, something like that.


Something like that.


Something like that.


So it I know I know how it feels, because for me, it's been 11 years, and it does feel like nothing's going to ever change.

But, I know we can trust that the law is working behind the scenes as you were saying with your uncle really.

And that's what encourages me greatly.

He went through the big 1 of the biggest sufferings of his life.

And that's what the lord used to bring him to Yes.

To Salvation.


You're right.

That does make us question things.

The greatest suffering we see is the perfect Jesus on the cross.

And yet, the greatest possible good comes from it.


So, yeah, god to use god does use suffering.


That's right.


So, we've talked about quite a few different things, and I wonder how, these couple of shirts have affected you, how what things you have learned, through the pandemic and and now it feels like we afterwards, after it.


But, I wonder what god has been teaching you in that time.



It it wasn't the easiest.

When we went into pandemic, I had a 1 and a half year old and a child who was in their 1st year at school.

So homeschooling, and it required a lot of hands on.

She didn't know how to read at that point and things like that.

So I couldn't just leave her to get on with the work.

And then, Lily was at a very different stage, our own guest.

But we plowed on through it.

The women's bible study online was wonderful and very, very hard to do 2 children running around and a husband working in the other room.

But equally a great blessing.

And 1 of the things I'd previously learned, but as I'm sure many people have experienced, we gotta teach those things.

We learn them, and then we forget them again, and continue on as we always did.

And 1 of the things that I relearned but felt solidified by by that, by the pandemic and especially in those earlier days was the simplicity of asking for daily bread, and not to worry.

And that the reason I don't need to worry is because I can ask for daily bread That's all I all I need to do is ask for god to get me through today.

I don't need to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow, I'm gonna ask him to get me through the next Yes.

And so when I would start to worry or panic or think this is an awful day, I would just say daily bread.

And turn to the Lord.


And it just held me in the day, not my mind wandering.

And I knew that it would be provided because he knows what we need, and he gives us abundantly more than that.

And then the more things opened up, I think we could take for granted how much time we can spend together, how easy that is, the joy of being with the church.


And having not been able to do that, the joy was afresh, and I still feel it now.

Like, We've been able to see each other for quite a while, but the joy of being with the church, it feels safer than being with anybody else in the world, that we're united by Jesus, and he's unchanging.

Yeah, just loving being with people.


And I was also thinking about how much more joy I found in the word and that just the last year that there's everything in there.

And if I don't understand the passage, somewhere else in the Bible is gonna help me to and that.


And just becoming really, really excited, which has been so nice after kind of Sometimes we have to plot.


That's right.

Thinking in the lockdowns, we're we're kind of stuck.

So yeah.

You you feel that because you're not able to interact with as many people as you could, then just focusing on your own thinking is not helpful.

So being able to then see people and face to face is making such a difference as well.



I think that's that gives you that freshness of actually this person said this and I hadn't thought of it like that and suddenly enlivens you again in a way.

I don't know how to face it.

Proper conversation to bounce off each other, what we've been learning, and ask each other, about, yeah, such a blessing.

Love it.


So to finish with, could you share with us some advice that you would give to perhaps younger Christians or even younger parents or whatever you find is most appropriate or relevant? Yeah.

I think in line with what I was saying about getting stuck into the word really, doing it in all different ways.

So of course, alone in 1 to ones within bible study settings and home groups and then in church.

And talk about it.

I'm so encouraged when I get to talk with brothers and sisters about what we've been learning, and how iron, sharpen's iron how we can learn and help each other grow and be excited.

So I just yeah, get into the word because also prepare for this the suffering that we know will come in life before it happens.

And we do that by getting into the word and god plants in our hearts and then prompts us by the spirit and those difficult moments to remember his promises and what he's taught us.



That's right.

And doing it as a church is so beneficial.

Isn't it? We can't we can't live as a Christian with church, can we? My family.



Oh, great.

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

That's all for this episode of sister stories, everyone.

Join us again next time.


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