'I was 79 and asked my friend how do I become a Christian'

Joyce’s story | It’s never too late

“I went to church when I was younger. I was confirmed at age 16. But I didn’t remain in the church. I married my husband David and we were building our house. We had three children. David was an estimator for a building company so he worked on the weekends. I suppose you could say that life got busy.”

“Then our three children became teenagers and two of them went off to ‘Young Life’ camps. They both became Christians. Then the eldest became a Christian when he was about 25. All three of them went into the ministry. They became pastors and ministers and so did their wives and husbands. They brought their children up to be Christians.

“Because of that, they were always asking me to come to church. They were always telling me that they were praying for me. But I resisted. I was really good at resisting!

“When I was 79, David became unwell. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and the next week, he had an operation. We moved from the Central Coast to a retirement village in Berry. We got a spot straight away and I sort of felt I was being looked after. I started going to the knitting group. It was called ‘Knit with Love’ and it met on Fridays. One of my Christian friends went there as well and she said they were all praying for me. I tell you, it’s very hard to resist that amount of praying!

“At the time, I was searching. I knew there was something missing in my life. David had passed away and I was lonely. I said to my friend, ‘How do you become a Christian?’ and she said, ‘You just pray to God.’

“At the time, a local church was having an adult baptism at the beach. So I said, ‘I can do that myself.’ I went down to the local pool by myself and I prayed to God with the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles Creed.  There was nobody else there. And I was zapped by the Holy Spirit! I felt great joy and euphoria. I was overcome by a strong perfume aura and I’ve had it many times since. It’s given me great calmness and comfort at different times. I felt completely set free! You would never believe what the Holy Spirit has done in my life since I turned 80!

“Then I thought, I suppose I can’t be a Christian and not go to church. So I started going to church. These days, I’m working on my knowledge of the Bible with daily reading and study. I have experienced Christ near me. I’m 82 and a half, so it’s been two and a half years since I came to Christ. I hope that my life is an example to other people. I hope I can prove it’s never too late to come to Christ!

“At the moment, I’m reading Isaiah 41. ‘… I have chosen you and not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.’ (v 9-10).

God has chosen us and he holds us in his hands. That’s pretty amazing! Recently I was at my granddaughter’s engagement party and one of my friends said to me, ‘You look different. You’re glowing with happiness. What’s happened? Have you become a Christian?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ All my family members have rejoiced in my conversion. And I say to everyone, ‘It’s never too late to come to Christ!’”

Joyce’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Bible verse Isaiah 41 9 10

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