I didn't grow up in a Christian family. Despite this, for reasons unknown or unremembered, I really, really wanted to go to Sunday school from a very young age. Eventually (after much haranguing) I persuaded my Mum to let me go.....and go I did.....every week from age 8 through to my teens. I started being a "helper" and then took over one of the children's groups. Then (as I discovered boys)....I drifted away from Sunday school....moved away from home.....and my Christian connection was lost.
Ha! Little did I know....just because I was lost didn't mean that God was going to let go that easily.
Each year from 17 through to 30, I exchanged Christmas cards with my old Sunday school leader....giving brief updates of what was going on.....work promotions, getting engaged, getting married and then giving birth to my son.
When my son was 18 months old, his father left us. It was a devastating time - I worked full-time, had a house to "run" and a baby to look after. We were renting a house, and when I told my landlords that I wanted to switch the lease to just my name (my salary was our main income so I could afford to stay in the house) they decided that they didn't to rent to a single Mum. So I had to find somewhere pronto for me and my son to live. A house was available in Cookham (we were living in Marlow) which I decided to rent. In my annual Christmas card, I gave a short update to my old Sunday school leader about the events of the year.
Well, they say that God works in mysterious ways......
My old Sunday school leader knew a member of the Riverchurch congregation - Anne Kingston. In the following Spring, I got a phone call out of the blue from Anne.
Now, there's nothing more off-putting than some over-zealous nut cold-calling you! But those who know Anne wouldn't be surprised that she merely, gently and quietly mentioned the fact that Riverchurch met locally to me and that I might consider popping along. At that time, Riverchurch met in Cookham once a fortnight.....and listening to her, I figured that even I could probably manage attending a church that only met once a fortnight! And that was that.....I started coming and then remembered what it was over 20 years ago had drawn me to church....having a warm, loving (and at times exasperating!) relationship with God.