'It was like God was writing in the sky!'
Sally Anne’s story | Jesus is the one who changes us!
“I was born in Dublin, and raised as a Catholic, which meant that I knew God was real. Sadly, as a young person, that fact didn’t impact my life much at all.
In my early thirties I was living in London in my own flat. I had a good job. But life was messy in ways that would have horrified me, some years previously, as a convent girl.
I met a guy from the tennis club who was nice looking and good at tennis. He invited me out.
At dinner he started explaining the Gospel to me. I said that I already knew about those things. I was a lapsed Catholic.
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“I had always been trying to turn over a new leaf. But I couldn’t do it.”
Then he invited me to meet two of his friends. They lived in a nice house in south London. As the chat went on, I realised it had something to do with God. Then over the course of the next hour, I went from being a ‘lapsed Catholic’ to being a Christian!
They were talking about God in ways that showed they actually knew God. As I listened to them, my little heart wanted what they had. It was the realisation that Jesus’ death on the cross had done everything needed to welcome me into heaven.
Prior to that, I had always been trying to turn over a new leaf or to live better. But I couldn’t do it. That evening in London, they said Jesus would do it. Jesus would change me. I said, “I want this!”
Wow! It made such a difference! They gave me a little Gospel of John, and the next morning I was sitting on a double-decker bus, next to a young woman, starting to read the Gospel of John. She leaned over, and said, “Are you a Christian?”
I said, “Yes! I became one last night!”
It was so good of God. He was immediately saying, “You’re not the only pebble on the beach!” For the next nine years I went to a wonderful, evangelical church in London. I couldn’t be more grateful. Every Sunday I got a range of different people giving me the Gospel. I grew as a Christian!
During those years I was never particularly looking to get married. My main aim was to follow Jesus. But in my late thirties I started to long for a husband. I had a very successful job, but I was lonely.
One Saturday morning I was in tears, praying about it. Suddenly, in the most real way, God said to me, “I want you to stop worrying about this. I’m going to take care of it.”
“It was like God was writing in the sky – this is the one, this is the promise.”
I was 39, and there was nobody on the scene. The supply of Christian single men was woeful. But I believed God.
Another couple of years went by. At 41 I went to an American prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C. with 3,000 people from all over the world. One of the MCs was a parliamentarian from NSW. I looked at him, and something shot into my heart. But I assumed he was married. After one of the dinners we exchanged business cards, and he went back to Australia.
Another year went by, and in the following January I was invited to a dinner party in London. Neil, the parliamentarian from NSW, was there again, and he wanted to see me.
He told me he had travelled 12,000 miles to see if God would put us together in love and marriage. He had never been married! He had three friends in Sydney praying for us. I went bright red. It was like God was writing in the sky – this is the one, this is the promise.
We were married in July 1983, and I moved to the other side of the world. It wasn’t always easy, but it was wonderful. Neil was such a lovely man. Twenty-four years later he died of liver cancer.
But God’s miracles didn’t stop there. Two years later God mercifully brought me a second husband, Ken. Ken is God’s gift to me now!
I guess one of the things God has taught me is to be grateful. He is at work in our lives – in everything. A key verse has been Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” That’s the promise! Jesus will work in me, and change me, until he takes me home or until he comes again – whichever comes first! I couldn’t be more thankful!”
Sally Anne’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click to read more Faith Stories.