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 - 2. Emily W.

In this episode, I am interviewing Emily, who is married to Alex and is a mum of two young children. She also works as a secondary school teacher. Listen to hear about her journey with the Lord from childhood and the role the Church family played in her life. 

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sister stories podcast.

This podcast's aim is to marvel at god's sovereignty every 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 Emily.




So first of all, Andy, could you tell us a little bit by who you are? Sure.

Emily, I'm 30 years old.

I am head of music at a high school in Sutton.

I've worked there since September 2014 when we moved to London.

I've attended Cornerstone for 8 and a half years.

It was the 1st church we tried after we moved home.

Never looked back.

I've been married to Alex since July of 2014, and we have 2 children, Asha, who is for, and Esther will be 2 in April.


So we're going to go through, your journey to faith and how that develops throughout your life.

Could you take us to the beginning and and Tell us by your family background, please.

Of course.


So I was very blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home.

I I've grown up in the church and my understanding of who god is and who Jesus is was developing from toddlerhood.

My parents were amazing role models for Christian livings.

So they were both very heavily involved in the church, my Douglas and elder, And my mom led their baby and toddler group, and they both had major roles in the Synder School and kids work in general.

And, the majority of my family are questions, and that was something I didn't appreciate.

How nice that was until I grew up, I just thought, if you had Christian parents, they did lots of things and you went to everything.

So I I've I suppose I'd I would have always considered myself a Christian or I always knew who god was and who Jesus, what Jesus had done for me.

In terms of becoming a Christian, I remember praying the prayer at about 7, I was quite a big reader, so I love to read my bible and do my quiet time.

And, I just got to a point where, yes, I want to want to trust in god and, let him, yeah, be a part of my life, for real.

And this relationship would be strengthened at Christian summer camps from the age of 9 and, large Christian gatherings like Spring Harvest but it's always so easy to fall back into normal life and lose that passion that you felt when you're when you're gathering with others.

I was, never strongly persecuted for being Christian at school, but I was quite a shy person, so still find it really difficult to talk to new people even today.

But if people ask me, I said, yeah, I've I've followed Jesus or I'm a Christian, but I wasn't telling them about how great a relationship with him was.

And what they were missing out on, ultimately.

So I was really looking forward to going to university where I could have a fresh start and I was blessed with a lovely group of housemates, who aren't Christians, but, we're, We had lots of fun together throughout our time at uni, and, many of them I'm still with friends friends with today.

I went to Lancaster for university, quickly settled into a church there as a shout out to the Walllands Church.

And I got stuck in with that church for the 4 years that I was there.

This church is quite a similar style to Cornerstone, and the student worker at the time, as we were end in our time at university, she recommended that we try a commission church when we marry in Muuto London.

So thank you to flick for guiding us to Cornerstone.

And I also got involved in the CU and was the music coordinator for part of my time at uni.

I was, baptized at uni on my 19th birthday, and I'd really grown in my knowledge of of god's character.

And, as part of the student work, we would focus on, just 1 area of the 1 book of the Bible.

So Romans in our 1st year and Mark's gospel in 2nd year, and then we did a whole Bible overview.

So it was that was a real good foundation building on what it from childhood to really understand and talk through with others, to develop my understanding of of god's word.


If we pause there for a second, actually, I do wonder, so you said that you were just brought up in the church and just understanding things more and more.

Is there so, obviously, you you said that, you prayed the prayer at around 7.


Did that was that brought about by a sudden on deeper understanding of the gospel or something that changed in I did.

Where you understood things.

I don't think so.

I find it quite hard to remember.

So I imagine I was, I would have been with my mom and my dad.

Reading something and they might have prompted me to say, oh, you know, do do you wanna do you wanna pray that prayer now? It might have been something in the bible notes that I was reading with them.

So I can't say for sure.

But I think I'd just got to that age where I had a little bit more understanding and thought, yeah, I I I understand that god really loves me and that Jesus died for me.

So, you know, I want to recognize that.


I think that's a strong testament to what your parents first of all, but also the church around you.

Just, you know, showing you how to live, but also practically what the gospel looks like in a sense.



That's great.

So how did you arrive in Kingston? How did that come about? Yeah.

So, so after I'd been baptized by them, my Alex, and, he wasn't living as a Christian at that time, so I wasn't really sure what to make of him.

But he was talking about church, and his background being from a Christian home as well, but I was just a bit worried that he wasn't going to church whilst at uni.

We then it was the end of 1st year, and we spent a lot of time talking on Skype, and a few months later, we were a couple.

So, I think My parents and my church farm at the time were a bit not concerned, but a bit wary as well.

But, yeah, it it he would he's came to church from the start of our 2nd year and gradually, it I think it was, yeah, over time with that Bible T that we had.

He then, you know, started to to realize, oh, yeah.

This is what being questioned means.

This is what I should be doing.

And yeah, he calls it flood to convert, but, I've I'm just thankful that I could, you know, bring bring someone back to Christ and that god can just use really normal people who are just doing life, to to further his kingdom.

So we got engaged at 20.

And then after planning a wedding in Alexis's 4th year in my PGC a year, which I would not recommend, we would after we were just turned 22, we married, moved down to London because Alex had a PhD place at Royal Holloway, that was our reason for leaving the north.

And so we arrived late August and yeah, there was a a sermon peep the sermon was a lot of Pete asking, are you ready? Are you ready? I was like, ready for what? But, yeah, we, yeah, we just really enjoyed his engaging teaching and thought, yeah, this feels like home and, yeah, Okay.

That's great.

And so since then, you've had 2 children as well, and you've you've become quite involved as Cornerstone, both of you, so is there anything, that god has shown you in that time in arrive in Cornerstone and then in the last few years as well? Anything you just taught you in particular? Yeah.

Lots lots of things.

So, becoming a mom, I, yeah, I that was what 4 around 4 years until our marriage.

So we had a bit of time to get to know each other and, marriage is definitely not easy.

So I'd definitely learn more about, how to be patient with another person, because obviously we'd not lived together before we got married.

So that was a whole whole new thing.

And, you know, adding kids into the then you've gotta learn that extra level of patients and, thinking about, each other's love languages and actually we are quite different.

So, what 1 way we like to show love the other person doesn't necessarily appreciate that that much.

So I'm a big acts of service person, and Alex just needs a few words of encouragement.

But that's not something I find that's easy to do.

So yeah, but over time, we're we're getting better at that.

And yeah, the kids, have been a real joy.

They, yeah, they make us feel very contented even if we're having a challenging day.

But the the last year in particular has been quite tough, in terms of just practical life things because we've been trying to move house.

So the biggest thing I've learned from the last year is just trusting in god's timing.

So We hoped that it wouldn't have taken a whole year to move house, but, there are some things that I cannot organize.

I like to be in control, but Ultimately, we've we've gotta put those scenes in god's hands.

So it's been just over 2 weeks now that we moved and, I think a lot of times I've just felt very, no, not not a huge amount of despair because ultimately there are far more things that are going on in this world that are way worse, but, just thinking, oh, you know, why is this taking so long? Why is this happening? So it's been great to have, you know, my family and church family to just encourage you in those times and just remembering that god is in control and, I can look back on it now thinking, yeah, totally.

So, yeah, it's it's hard to trust at times when it feels the hardest, definitely.

Yeah, life's kind of takes over almost, and we just get so engrossed in in other things, are not as important sometimes.


For sure.


It's okay.

In terms of your perhaps spiritual growth as you came to Cornerstone and you said you really enjoyed the teaching, and it was quite similar to your previous church.

Is there anything that struck you in particular in in hearing the sermons or sitting under under the words? Or I think I would always feel very challenged and, whoever was speaking, they were always getting getting straight to the point.

And, I like that whoever's preaching is not afraid to admit their own sin and things that we we get wrong because ultimately we are all sinful people, and it's just helpful to have have that reminder, so that we can ultimately repent.

And, yeah, it just it just helps to have everybody under rule under guard rule in the same position, I'd really.

And, it's been good to have discussion time after the sermons recently with our new service format, because quite often you just get to the end of the sermon and you pray and then you've gotta go get your kids, but actually it's been really helpful, those times when we have broken into groups, something else talk things through, pray about things, just that you don't forget so quickly.

I think that helps to keep those those reminders.

Nothing, yeah, nothing nothing massively in particular, but it has been really good going through 1 Timothy lately.

I'm excited for for a Sunday sun.


I find it really interesting how the church has had such a big impacts throughout your life and, and just seeing these people around you probably as a child and as a teenager.

And as you said, you know, just going through that slow progression almost, or just understanding more and and seeing people.

I think, yeah, it's just a huge testament to youth work and and all kinds of work that goes on into church businesses.

I wonder how your friends, when you lived with these non Christian friends at university, how they related to you in terms of you being a Christian and and going to chairs and all of that in your life and whether you've kept in touch with them as well.


Yes, all of my housemates would know that I would go to church because I'd be like, alright, I'm off.

See you later.

And it was really good in my second year actually because church was right around the corner, so I could literally walk there, a couple of my mates came to my baptism, so they could hear my testimony, which was good.

Sometimes we did OCU did like text text for a toasty events and that kind of thing.

Some and some of them were asking, questions, and we'd go give go give them the toasty and I'll try and answer that as best we could.

And obviously, Alex and I were together for 3 the 4 years so they could see us both going to church and, getting in getting involved in things and, I'm, yeah, still in contact with the majority of people, who I who I lived with.

So it's good good to to keep those contacts, keep witnessing to them, and, yeah, that's great.



Not thinking more about if you had some advice to give to perhaps a younger Christian, What what would you share with them? Mhmm.

I would say to get involved with everything that is on offer.

So if you are part of Cornerstone, obviously there are so many things that people can be doing, And that's your that's your best way of developing friendships with other people, your age, and just getting to know other people in the church whether you're a teen or a or a student just going along to things and and getting stuck in as much as possible.

I think it's been good as a as a teen that I was in I was in the music group from about, I don't know, the age now, but I was quite young, And that that was, you know, 1 way that I could start with the quad start serving, soon, and you just you develop that that, servant hearted attitudes of of of, yeah, giving giving back to a congregation and, I think just, you know, going to camps and things, they're they are great.

So just getting involved as much as possible and depending on what stage of life you are at, just using your free time as wise as you could.

It's like the media fast a couple of weeks ago was really great for that.

But in my current season of life, it's it's definitely harder to pick up my bible.

And, I have to do a lot of listening to things while I'm in the car because that's my main time alone.

So yeah, make making the most of that free time where you can to to primate your bible because that's how you're gonna learn more about god and develop your your relationship with him.

And and I think that what people who maybe aren't so young and maybe don't have so much free time.

To just develop those relationships with other Christians where you can so that you've got those moments where if whatever you're going through your suffering might might only be quite minimal compared to what somebody else is going through, but you know, it's all still suffering.

So just having somebody that you can reach out to and, say, actually, no, I'm not good.


Actually this this day's been really rubbish and how you've got that relationship that you've built, with whoever it is, to, yeah, be able to encourage 1 another and and pray for each other.

And that's that's the strength of the church, isn't it? So that we can come together and be open and honest, like you were saying, even in the sermons, just having that from the pastas as well of just being able to share life together.

In a more open way than you would downsize almost.


That's great.

I think you're it's really interesting how you test me.

It's just quite a strong witnessful, just church life freely, and how these little things how we take for granted, like sending new kids to some of this school, or or just the youth groups or all these things that are around us all the time actually having a much deeper impact than we can imagine.

I think that's very encouraging.

I'm sure that's really encouraging for your parents as well to see that your family has been carrying on with the faith and and, you know, that you've grown in that way as well.

Yeah, what would you say to parents as well in terms of, you know, re bringing up children? Yeah.

I think, we do have really great teaching, in our in our kids work, our kids program.

So it's really nice now as a parent to be able to see, those those little nuggets of Bible that they're they're getting every week and so I asked this learning quite a lot of words now so she can say, Jesus.

At, points in the book, and, yeah, Ash is getting a lot more understanding now.

So her last me questions or starting to have those conversations about who god is, and how can he hold the whole world in his hands? So he's very curious and good questions can be quite hard to answer, but it's it's lovely that he he is wanting to know more about who god is and understand more more about him and and that is just from us reading our Bible with him and and taking him to church.

So, yeah, hope, you know, we hope that he will come to have a full and true and the sun in of of who god is.

So just doing those those things day by day and week by week.


For sure.

And we can definitely pray for them as well.



That's great.

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

And thank you everyone for listening.

That's all for this episode of sister stories for joining us in next.


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