Ever since I can remember I went to church. My mum took us to the local Church and we took part in Sunday school and when I was older I sang in the choir. I even tried bell ringing, but found that too scary!

When I was about 12 years old we started going to a different Church in town and this was different in many ways. To start with it was huge and was packed full of people every week. There was lively music and it was completely different to what I had experienced before. As a family we all really enjoyed it. I gave my life to the Lord, got baptised and became part of the youth group; enjoying weekend’s away and making lots of friends. I don’t remember much of what I learnt or having any particular life changing experiences but I know I enjoyed the time I spent at Church and the relationships I made there. Unfortunately my parents experienced some difficulties at the Church and so did my sibling and I, and so one by one each of us left the church. I was probably 15 or 16 at the time.

I grew up, got a great job and started my career, and although I would have said that God wasn’t part of my life during this time, I now realise looking back that He was always there for me, I just didn’t have a relationship with Him. I got married when I was 25 and we had 2 beautiful children together. I married a Bengali man and as part of the journey with Him I made the choice to become a Muslim like he was, as requested by him and his family. I had a feeling inside that this wasn’t the right thing to do but went ahead and sealed it with Islamic wedding vows and personal vows of my conversion to Islam.

Everything just seemed to change from that day on; my relationship with my husband was very different to the one I had as his girlfriend, and I started studying the Muslim religion and tried to understand it. The more I read however, the more it just didn’t sit right with me but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Over the next few years I had two children and during this time I became distant from my family and lost many friends; I was feeling very isolated and lonely. We had our own businesses and my husband worked day and night. We rarely saw him and when we did he was exhausted. Although he always provided for the family, his work hours had a damaging effect on us as a family. I was stuck on a path that was making me desperately unhappy and could find no way to change direction!

It wasn’t until 2011 when I was made redundant from my job that things started to change. It was the last day of the school year and the summer holidays were beginning but it felt like my world was ending! It caused me to seek out God. I needed help. I was lost. Everything around me had slowly changed over the years; I wasn’t happy in my marriage, and the one stable thing I did have had been taken away but that’s when God stepped in and started to move on my heart.

I finally returned to Christ that year and gave Him my life (again!) That was nearly six years ago and I haven’t looked back ever since. He is more alive to me than ever before and my relationship with Him is growing stronger every day. I thank Him for restoring me and putting people around me that have supported, encouraged and loved me on this journey back to Him. God has a purpose for me, as He does for everyone, and I’m now on the right path to discover the fullness of what He has planned for my life. I’m in a good place and feel excited about the future and what God will do.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.