Jesus is my 'come on, you can do it!'
Mel, 25, who lives in Selby, North Yorkshire, came to a living faith thanks to Church Army evangelist Neil Walpole and his wife Barbara ...
Mel, 25, who lives in Selby, North Yorkshire, came to a living faith thanks to evangelist Neil Walpole and his wife Barbara, who live next door to her, and work at Church Army’s Selby Centre of Mission. Mel shares with us what becoming a Christian means to her and how it’s given her a more positive approach to life …
“My name is Mel, I’m 25 years old, and I live with my partner John and my two children, Mason, four, and two-year-old Jacob.
“When I was younger we were always moving around, and were quite unsettled in where we lived, which was a bit disruptive.
“I got to know Neil and Barbara because they’re our neighbours and if ever we need anything – I mean anything – they’re brilliant, just really lovely. I couldn’t ask for better neighbours.
“Barbara gave me a red booklet called Why Jesus? I had it in my house for ages and then one night I was curious and I sat and read it. I decided to say the prayer of commitment. It was just the right time to say it.
“When I said the prayer, I felt head-to-toe tingling all over, just so relaxed and carefree, not a worry in the world. How can anyone deny it? When you say something like that, and you get that feeling, it’s just amazing.
“Having Barbara and Neil next door is just really helpful if I have questions or if I experience something and I feel like I need to share it – I can just go across and share it straight away.
“One night I was sitting in bed thinking about when I grew up and problems I had with my mum. I said: ‘I forgive my mum, Jesus, I forgive her. I understand it must have been hard for her and I forgive her for what she did and things she said and how she’s been recently.’
“The next morning I went across to Barbara and I said: ‘Morning Barbs, how are you, are you OK?’ and she said: ‘Yeah, Mel, wait a minute I have something for you’, and she gave me a piece of A4 paper with a prayer about forgiveness.
“She said: ‘I know you have some issues with your mum’. I said: ‘This is unbelievable! Last night I prayed that I forgave my mum and you have just handed me a piece of paper on forgiveness, and a prayer on forgiveness. Well, blow me over!’ It was just absolutely amazing.
“With the children, it can get on top of you. You know, they’re running around and by the end of the day, you are so stressed. I sit down and tell myself: ‘Look, Jesus is there with you, Mel, he’s helping you through the day.’
“You might feel like you won’t be able to get on with the next day, you just want to stay in bed, but … you’ve got Jesus with you, and he’s always going to be there for you. He is there, helping me along.
“Jesus to me is my saviour, my support, my ‘come on, you can do it!’ And if I do something wrong, I am more aware of it. So, yes, he’s just been my real strength. Jesus is my strength.”
To watch a film of Mel’s story, visit www.churcharmy.org.uk/one
Get more inspiring reading
Our print magazine for INSPIRE is currently on hold while we explore new funding options for a relaunch later this year. If you'd like to be kept up to date with developments, ready to order the new title once it's available, email email@example.com