Welcome to Midlife Mission.
My name is Neil. I am a Born Again Christian…
Now, before you start running for the hills, let me tell you it hasn’t always been that way.
In The Beginning
I was born into this world in 1968. My dad was a footballer, so we traveled around the UK (from club to club and contract to contract) and in 1968 – my mother, father, and brother – happened to arrive in Southend-on-Sea where I was born. Dad spent a season there before we moved north to settle in a small town close to Manchester.
Despite my parents’ limited knowledge of God, I was baptized by a Catholic priest in a church in Leeds (where mum and dad had married a few years earlier). They dressed me in a white gown, sprinkled water over me and reminded my parents, relatives, and onlookers of the responsibilities they all had towards the Catholic church. Happily, I was too young to care!
So, there I was; A Catholic – by design. A sinner – by nature.
The Dark Ages
Growing up, I had little to do with the Catholic church and gained no knowledge of God. Apart from weddings, funerals, and christenings, the church wasn’t somewhere we spent too much time.
I spent the next 48 years feeling confused, condemned and increasingly frustrated by religion – doing what a lot of people do I guess; searching for wisdom in self-help books.
Did I find the meaning of life? What do you think… 😉
I found everything and nothing.
All that the world offered I grabbed hold of with both hands – lusting after every sinful pleasure that stood before me – and found myself feeling emptier and emptier with each passing day.
Lost. Lonely. Longing for The Truth
In December 2016, after years in the wilderness, I fell to my knees while working late in my office one evening after everyone else had gone home. I had been reading The Bible for a few days on and off and that night – while reading The Book of John – I felt the presence of God.
It’s hard to explain what happened but as I read about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, I knew He was real. I felt it. Not in a physical sense, but in my spirit (buried deep). Tears filled my eyes and I felt such deep sorrow and regret.
I knew… the world had crucified its creator.
I called out and asked for His help.
I accepted my failings.
I surrendered my life to The Lord and asked Him to take control. Right there and then. Not knowing what would happen or where He would take me.
And He heard me, just as He promised He would.
I was given a new life in Christ.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6 KJV).
So what happened next?
Keep reading if you want to follow my walk or just pick through the rubble of my old life…