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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S1 - 4. Sophie

In this episode, you can listen to Sophie’s testimony. She is a member of Cornerstone Church and a secondary school teacher. Listen in to be encouraged to keep on reading the Word and sharing the gospel to the people around you.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sisters stories podcast.

This podcast is aimed at marveling at god's sovereign in each of our lives as women.

And at encouraging 1 another via our stories, my name is Saskia, and today I'm joined by Sophie.

First, can you tell us who you are? So hello.

My name is Sophie.

I'm a secondary school, language teacher, originally from France, and I am almost 30, which is a little bit scary.

Nothing to be scared I'm sure we'll see when that happens.

So today we are going to be talking about how you came to know the lord Jesus Christ.

But first off, could you tell us about what your childhood was like? So, obviously, my child was in France And, so I was born in a non Christian family, but my parents had exposure to Christianity, through their parents, who were on both sides, Catholic.

So they were all they were both brought up, in the Catholic phase going to church fairly frequently going through communion, no, sorry, confirmation and all of that.

But they it feels to me that they very much left the faith behind, later on.

So, I was not brought up with any knowledge of the Bible or very, very little and nothing very enlightening really, nothing that really struck me.

So I had almost 0 awareness of who Jesus was, which is quite something, I think, when you think about it.

So I just didn't realize who he was at all.

I knew the the name, but, I barely knew anything about him.

So much had, we was also marked by my parents' divorce fairly early on, when I was, I think, about 6, but I'm not I'm not entirely sure.

I don't really remember many things, and we moved around a lot.

So we we moved from the south of France to near Paris and spends most of my life around Paris, really, with my sister and my mom's aunt, my mom's partner.

So it was quite a lot of moving around.

From house to house and things like that.

So not the easiest.

And, and the childhood where my dad was mostly absent as well, or at least distant enough that it felt like he wasn't truly there, although we saw him at the in the holidays.

So, yeah, it took me a long time to kind of get to know him properly and to as, or to develop a relationship with him that was more than just being scared of him, really.

So, not not not that he's an unpleasant man, but just if you have someone who's a bit distant, as a child, you're not it's not easy to warm to that person and to relate to them.

But we have a much better relationship now, so That's it.


And so how did you come to hear about the gospel having no previous knowledge of it? So that's really interesting.

I so throughout my teenage years, I would very much say that I had a deeper awareness of of sin, really, without actually knowing what it was, but it was quite discouraging for me and almost despairing because I could feel very much that I was doing things wrong, quite often that other people were doing things wrong as in quite serious things, you know, lying, betraying people being quite unpleasant And so I had this quite negative view of people.

I was probably a bit proud as well thinking that was better, but I could still see that something was wrong.

And I had no reference point to know if there was something else or if there was an answer to that.

So I think there was something deep in you that was longing for something else.

There was that gap that was trying to fill somehow, and didn't really know which turn And it was quite scary in a lot of ways as a teenager trying to find yourself and not really know, how to piece things together.

So there was that.

And I was quite a curious person.

I I was keen to learn.

I was fairly good at school.

And so I would be fairly open minded.

So funnily enough, if someone had asked me what I believe back then, I probably would have given it some thoughts, but that didn't happen.

So, it's very rare in France that these questions actually get get asked other than by Christians or by people who believe in something.

So, yeah, so that was kind of what was going on in my head.

And, I came to university and I studied English, and especially English literature.

And, in my literature lessons, I soon found out that you needed to know about the Bible to understand all the references, especially in British literature.

Oh, wow.

I didn't know that.

Well, it became apparent when a teacher asked the question 1 day, and I got it wrong.

And someone said, oh, it's from this Psalm or or whatever it was in the Bible.

And or from, I think, maybe Genesis or something like that.

Anyway, and so I was like, oh, no.

I don't know the answer to this.

I was really annoyed, actually, which is seems like a silly thing.

But I wanted to learn, and I wanted to know where the Bible was.

And so exactly at that time, I had to select an options, for my 2nd year of university, and I selected the course of the bible in picture.

Oh, wow.

Because, again, I wanted to know, and it was it was it sounded quite interesting.

And exactly at that time, which was I mean, god's working behind the scene again, a person then you from secondary school, who wasn't even my friend, really, or someone close to me, invited me to the CU, and we became friends through that.

And so I came and I started reading they were reading the parables in Matthews gospel, and this changed everything, obviously.

It was quite interesting how suddenly I was in front of people who were loving, and I had to re think what I knew of people.

And I had to rethink that, actually, there are some people out there who have no motivation to be nice to me who do not know anything about me are welcoming, offering me food, and drink, and raising the Bible with me and helping me understand it.

And that was very precious.

So I just kept on going.

That was October 2010.

And, I became a Christian very quickly after that, just from raising Oh, wow.

The compost, basically.

So is there is there a specific day when you gave your life to Christ? Yes.

There is.

And I can tell you it was the was it okay.

That's a bit tricky.

Actually, sorry.


It was a weekend.

So I think it was roughly the 6th February 2011.


Look at that.

So between 4th and the 6th, but probably the 6th, I think.

But what happened is that, I kept on coming to the CU because well, I think partly because I was not a very disagreeable person, and that was just This is nice.

I'm having fun.

These people are nice.

I'm interested in this.

I just keep on going.

It was a I didn't even think about it that much in my head.

But, either we can't, so through reading the gospels, there was something in me that really it just came together very quickly, just seeing who Jesus was very simply and just where he's done.

I didn't even need to read that much more of the Bible to kinda put together.

And also, I remember reading at the end of John when John says, this is a disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down, we know that his testimony is true, and he carries on talking about more things.

There was something in me that told me that no man could write this and lie.

And I was just there there wasn't too many question in my head of, is this true or not? It just I read it.

I was like, This seems like an honest account, and I want to know who this guy is, basically.

So Yeah.

And also 1 of the parables that we read in Matthew, the parable of the 10 virgins, is very interesting because at the time, I think, again, very strangely, there was something in me that told me that and needed to be 1 of the wise ones.

I needed to be in that in that wedding room in in that in that feast.

And as he wasn't very formulated in my mind, but I was like, I'm going to find the way to get there.

And I did.

So Yeah.


So on that weekends, I think That is when I prayed for the first time.

I broke her with with my boyfriend.

Oh, wow.

It was definitely not happening.

And, at the end of the weekend, we had to write a letter to ourselves, which the CEO would send us a few months later, and I don't know if I can I don't know if I I think it was quite supernatural when I read that letter? I could definitely feel that It was not something I would have said of myself, when I wrote.

I actually feel that something else were prompting me.

And now now you know it's the Holy Spirit Yes.

Now I do.


And receiving it, in god's providence, I received it exactly when I needed to hear these things again.

Of, like, basically, I think I wrote something like, what you studied is is true, and it's not something you can ignore.

And, yeah, so.


That's powerful.

So how do you think this changed your life? Wow.

This is quite, interesting.

I think it made me a more optimistic person.

There were some really dark times in my teenage years, especially at school, and, times where I thought that things could not be mended almost or, you know, but somehow god showed me that I could leave people behind me and be fine.


And I could just, actually sometimes I needed to leave people behind me.

And find some better people to hang out with.

And so I think he's really showing me that actually, again, I'm not the 1 fixing things, and he does.

And he very graciously, came to find me which, I don't know, I can't I can't explain more than that really, but but it's just amazing.

So I think it really made me more hopeful.

It gave me a purpose as well that maybe I hadn't quite got in my life.

I didn't quite have Yeah.

And I think, it may be more probably more generous as well to people and and more open minded to them and ready to give them a bit more the benefit of a doubt than previously.

I think so.

At least that.



So you talked a bit about your family life at the beginning and, how your parents had separated in things.

How did your family react about about your your life changing in this way.

And Yeah.

It's quite interesting because So I had some they had some concerns, I think, my dad, especially because he could not see me like, closely at least.

So I phoned him.

I told him I had become a Christian.

I explained to him how try, which is probably the deepest conversation we've ever had, to be honest.

He did say to me that he was being worried, that I was in a cult, basically.

Because, in France, the CU is very unknown.

It's practically unknown by most people, sadly, because it's a great organization, but, it's about a 100 groups all over France which is great, but if you're not in a protestant circle, you probably haven't heard of it, and protestants are very few in France.

Oh, wow.

So, yeah.

So, to someone else's ears, it just sounds a little bit like you're in the cult.

Because you're reading the Bible together.

And, obviously, the aim is to bring everyone to read the Bible and whether you're Muslim and atheist or anyone is welcome to come to every single CU session, to discuss it.

So it's not at all like that.

So the minute I explained that to him, he was more okay with it.


Which was which was great.

And coming to my baptism later on, he he could see he could see things, and it was it was much better.

My mom and sister, living with me, it it suddenly felt like I had changed to them.

At least in their eyes, it the perception I have of it is that they thought I had changed in such drastic way.

In a good way? Maybe in a good way, but at least I escaped them somehow.

And especially for mom, I think that that is difficult.

And even to this day, that is difficult for her to get her head around that her girl is not is not hers completely anymore.

And especially when you're basically a single mom having to raise your kids.


I think that's quite difficult.

My sister was a little bit aggressive at first, but I think has Some had grown out of it a little bit.

I would say I'm not sure how to I'm not sure how to explain all these things, but, it it did feel that, there was a little bit of tension there at least there were some questions occasionally, but Oh.

Not a deep interest, at all until last year.



So you said they were they were Catholic at the beginning and, so how what's sort of happened with them now? And, how is the relationship with your family now compared to then? And yeah.

Well, I think now it's a little bit different, obviously, because I'm now in the UK.

So, I think there's even in some ways, even more distance, although we're we're still fairly close.

So I do think that there's a bit of an indifference to it's more than hostility necessarily.

I did, read the Bible with my sister last year.

So I've read Luke's gospel with her.

Which was great.

But again, I don't think she was that interested in the end.

So we did read most of it which was good, but I think it kind of stopped there.

And hopefully that's not the end of it, but let's see.

I think it's a similar relationship of more a bit more distance, and a bit more indifference and it's the kind of topic that I might not mention that regularly at least it's hard to get into a deep conversation about faith.

And I mentioned church, but that kind of stops there.

If I cannot try to dig a bit a bit deeper, but it's not it's not very easy in the conversation sometimes.


But I guess in a way it's so, like, wonderful that, you can they know that you are a question and that they can come to you and they can ask questions if they want to and that you're there.

You're there for them.




So, yeah, so that's beautiful.

And and what has god taught you in this last year, this crazy crazy COVID 19 year? I think, so I've had quite a strange year in a lot in quite a few ways, the first lockdown we were at home, obviously.

So the school was closed.

I was just working from home, which was quite shocked to the system.

It was quite difficult, and I was struggling a little bit.

But then in the second lockdown more recently.

I was at school.

And, I was with some colleagues, and we had more conversations, which was great.

And I grew closer to them in a way.

And it really made me realize, well, first of all, again, how not in control we are of the whole situation, but also how I really need to watch myself are not to let myself be influenced, by the world around me and not to adopt their way of talking, especially because talking is very easy to do, but then something comes out and you said the wrong thing.

And I have to watch my mouth quite a lot, not them swearing or anything, but, but just in in the way of portraying things in reality.

And I think that really god has really corrected me in that and and showed me how to not try not to do that as much as I can.

Even if it means that the unpopular 1, which obviously, isn't easy to take sometimes, but, yeah.

So that's something I try to carry off with as much as I can, but it's not.


That's so interesting.

Yeah, that must be must be so staying, at work, having the same experience with, you know, going through this pandemic and having to do online classes and things in this way.

And then everything being, so different when you go back and having those relationships with those teachers and things and Yeah.

So interesting.

But we don't follow the pattern of the well do we.


That's right.


So what advice would you give younger Christians? Oh, gosh.

That's a tough 1.

I do think that it is extremely valuable to just read the words as much as you can.

I mean, for me, I started by reading it in a more academic way almost because I wanted to learn everything.

That was well, not everything.

But as much as I could about god.

And I think that's very valuable, but reading it to teach yourself, and to try to memorize things and to actually put them into practice, and I'm still struggling with that.

But, I think that's why it's such a valuable thing to have, and it's obviously a very living word that affects us deeply.

So that would be my first advice, but also if you are maybe an older Christian, thinking about people who don't know Christ, I was 1 of 1 of the things I wish that someone had asked me when I was a teenager is is actually what do you believe? And I think sometimes we're hesitant to ask that question, which is quite a deep question and quite a quite a thoughtful question, really, but I kind of wish that sometimes that someone had asked me that question just to make me stop and think what is actually anchoring you, what is actually the the base of your life, because I think that prompts so many things, so many deeper thoughts and can really make people think.

And I would say Don has stated to ask these deeper questions, even if it's not easy, because it might it might actually make someone pause and think about about their life.

What do I believe? Exactly.




That's really good advice.

Actually, I'm I'm gonna take that advice.


I'm glad to hear Oh, well.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and that's all that we have time for in this episode.

Sister stories join us again next time.


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