Eight years ago, I was a different person. I was a broken woman in non-stop pain from chronic daily migraine. My sensitivity to light and sound made life excruciating and I was in my bed in the dark as much as possible. My heartbeat hurt my head, teeth, and jaw so badly that it made me flinch. I was bound up in a world of pain and depression. I couldn’t imagine being that way for the rest of my life and I couldn’t see that it would ever be any different. I was trying to be strong in myself and that wasn’t working. So, in desperation, I asked God to take me.
But God had a different plan for my life. He often uses the broken to do big things for Him. He has breathed new life into me and it began when I asked Jesus to hold my hand through the pain. He did and I felt it. He held my hand daily and he began to transform my life.
Even through the illness, I felt an urge to become involved in Alpha and it wouldn’t go away until I acted on it. I was surprised because serving in this kind of ministry is the antithesis of my personality. I’m an extreme introvert. To throw myself into a social evangelistic ministry was so far out of character that it was something I had NEVER imagined. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was being driven by the Holy Spirit.
I met with Pastor Sean and he suggested that I begin as a Small Group Helper on the next Alpha Course. And as I was leaving, he said, “Oh, by the way, there are a couple of things I’m looking to develop in the future.” One of them was developing an Alpha Course for kids that would track along with the adult course. My heart leapt when he said this. This was right up my alley! There was a breath of life in me!
And so, I worked with our Director of Children’s Ministry and developed Alpha Kidz as I was attending Alpha as a Small Group Helper. I was still very ill. Each day I worked on developing the course with breaks to lie down and spend time with Jesus holding my hand to manage the pain.
We launched Alpha Kidz the next spring and over the years, we have had children inviting their friends to come with them, children bringing their parents to Alpha, children being baptized, and families joining the church.
As time went on, I was asked to take on the role of Alpha Administrator at PLC, lead the Alpha Leadership Team, and join the San Diego Regional Alpha Team for Alpha USA.
I’ve had many personal growth experiences in Alpha. I prayed aloud for someone I didn’t know for the first time at the International Alpha Conference in London. (I didn’t volunteer for it. It just happened!) The Holy Spirit used me to speak words of reassurance to multiple people on that trip. I was amazed that God would use me to help others. I was also changed in the process.
My life has been transformed. I have grown in confidence. Though I have been a Christian all my life, I now know Jesus in a personal way that is more intimate than ever before. What changed in me is that instead of doing everything on my own, I am now doing it with Jesus. My life is for Him. My service in Alpha is for Him. And my self perception has changed. I now see myself the way God sees me, as His precious daughter.