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The Southgate Christian Fellowship

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Pat Duddy

From the Cradle to�

Pat was a �Cradle Catholic' but she went from the cradle to a dynamic new life with Jesus.

Here she tells her story...

I was born an 'Irish Catholic', and at two years of age, after my mother died, I went with my three sisters to a Convent Boarding School in Ireland. Here I was brought up by the nuns until I was 17 when I left to come to England to work.

I can't remember being very 'religious' even though I attended Mass and Communion nearly every day, but I do remember wanting to please God at times.

I wasn't in England very long, however, before I became an excellent advert for a 'lapsed Catholic'. So many things to see and do and so much freedom to do them in.

Only guilt and periodic nostalgia drew me back to church. Then I would go to Mass and Confession with gusto for a few weeks, but seldom had the courage to go for Communion as I still felt guilty. I was never free of guilt so I never truly knew peace.

I married and we had two lovely children, but my marriage ended in divorce. Feeling totally rejected, dejected, abused and disillusioned, I became a single mum.

"Is this it?� Is this life?"  I asked myself and others, but no-one could give a satisfactory answer, so I just continued trying to find happiness in other ways. But happiness always eluded me.

Then, about fifteen years ago, a new girl came to work at our office. One day she asked me a question that was to change my life. "Pat, do you know Jesus?" Without thinking I replied "of course I know Jesus, I'm a Catholic."

She very wisely left it at that, but those words haunted me. They kept going around in my head. "Do you know Jesus?" What is she talking about, what does she mean, do I know Jesus? The more I thought about it the more I had to admit, no, I don't know Jesus.

But how could anyone know Jesus? No-one had asked me such a question before, it bothered me. If anyone can know Jesus, how can they, how can I know Jesus?

All this time, Phyllis (the girl at the office) would talk to me about Jesus.

Once she said to me, "Pat, do you know that Jesus can forgive all your sins and wash away all your guilt, and you could start life afresh."

What! This affected me deeply. It was mind blowing. Like starting all over again with no sins?

Phyllis showed me scriptures and asked me if I would like to ask Jesus into my life, to change me and set me free. Even though I didn't fully understand it I said yes.

It is still the best decision of my life. I was set free. No more guilt or shame. A new life in Jesus.

My children hardly knew me. I went around singing. I had no desire to leave them and go looking for happiness anymore. I had found it in Jesus.

My children had their mum back, but a different mum, a happy mum who sang and danced, and prayed and played with them, who was there for them and listened to them.

What a transformation I experienced. The Bible became real to me whilst before it seemed quite boring. Now it is so interesting and exciting. I joined this church where I am still growing and learning to serve God and share him with others.

God Bless you. Pat.

 

You can contact Pat by e.mail.

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