'I'm here to hear about Jesus!'
Tracey’s story | Looking back at how God kept on drawing her closer
“By the time I was 21, I’d finished my degree and got a really good job. My career was all mapped out. I had a nice boyfriend and a loving family. It all looked perfect. What more could I want?”
“Then slowly, things started to unravel. Looking back, I’m sure it was God working in my life. My boss started to become really difficult. He had mental health issues, and he was controlling and inappropriate. I remember going into the stairwell and actually crying out to God, which was weird because I didn’t even know God.
“But literally, within weeks, a friend contacted me and said there was a job going at another company. I moved across to work with her. It was a great opportunity. At the same time, two other people were employed, who were both Christians. They were really open about their faith. They talked about what Jesus all the time, even though there were others who were anti-Christian.
“I remember listening to them and feeling quite angry. How did they know they had all the answers?
“How arrogant were they? But the angrier I felt, the more I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Why am I so angry? If there’s nothing to this, then it shouldn’t matter so much. What’s going on?’
“At the same time, I started to feel convicted that there was something wrong in my life, which was weird because in a worldly sense everything was perfect. But the feelings continued and at the end of that year, I asked my boyfriend whether we should get married. By then, we’d been living together for a year. He said yes. Then I said, ‘Where would we get married?’
“He said, ‘In a church, I suppose.’
“A crashing feeling of hypocrisy came over me. How could we get married in a church? I didn’t feel like I could step foot in one. How could I ever be acceptable to God?
“But at the same time, I said to myself, ‘Hang on, I’m a good person. I’m not that bad. There must be a loophole.’
“I knew my mum had an Anglican prayer book, so I went to find it. I looked up the section on marriage, trying to find a loophole. But there wasn’t one. The more I read, the more I felt there was no answer, and no way out. But somehow, the Holy Spirit kept convicting me and I began to talk to one of my Christian colleagues. She brought in a whole lot of Christian books and I devoured them. In the back of one of them was the sinner’s prayer. I read it and thought, ‘That’s it!’
“It was amazing. I suddenly knew that Jesus was real. He was God! He had died for me. God had already done it! I remember running around and telling everyone. I was in a euphoric, joyous state. It was just like 1 Corinthians 2:14 – ‘The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them.’ But now I understood the things of God! My boyfriend thought I’d lost the plot. On the next Sunday, I decided to go to church. I walked out the door and I kept turning left until I found a little, stone church. I went in. There was about three people inside and they were all really, really old. The pastor got up and he preached. Afterwards, he said, ‘Why are you here?’
“I said, ‘I’m here to hear about Jesus!’ He said I’d better come back to lunch. It turned out that the chapel was associated with a retirement village! That’s why everyone was so old. But I kept going to that little church. The pastor really encouraged me. And he ended up having a huge influence on my boyfriend’s life. My boyfriend came to faith later that year, through chatting with the pastor. But that’s another story!”