From someone in the North East

Why Believe

My Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2009. It was devastating.

The remaining months of his life were sadly filled with bitterness and anger; he would only allow very immediate family to be told of his illness. My Dad had no faith. By January 2010 I had accepted he was terminally ill and that we should make the most of the time left.

God was guiding me during this difficult time.

My Dad rarely left the house in case he was seen, one sunny day in late March I persuaded him to take a walk in woodlands full of daffodils. On that walk, although not long as his health was deteriorating, I felt real peace, God was with me and amongst such beautiful flowers created by him. The night my Dad died we were with him. I felt a huge peace as he suffered terribly at the end.

The days that followed before his funeral were very emotional for all his friends, who had no idea he was dying. I found myself comforting them when they visited, but I was happy to do so, God gave me the strength to do it. I went to church on the Sunday following his death, which was prior to his funeral. I have never felt such sincerity and kindness as I did that day. The words, handshakes and hugs were so very sincere and gave me the greatest comfort I have ever felt. Even the words of the hymns that day gave me great strength, God was with me.

On the day my Dad's ashes were interred, I returned home on what was a sunny warm May Day to find our dear cat had given birth to four beautiful kittens. This signified new life to me, I felt God was telling me to move forward, life is for living and I had to for my husband and three young children. In the months that followed, my faith grew as I reflected on my Dad's illness.

With hindsight, I realised that God was with me, directing me on the path I should follow. I began attending church regularly and joined the church choir. The following year I set up, with the assistance of other church friends, a children's choir and was asked to become a Board member of our church. In 2012 I was ordained as an Elder. God is with me every day. I receive devotional emails each day, and read God's word which provides me with guidance.

I try to read my Bible every day. My late Gran said the answer was always in the bible. I have had further difficult times, and my faith has given me such strength, as God continues to guide me. I look at others and feel if only they knew the strength and peace faith gives.

Faith is a wonderful thing. I recall my Dad's lack of faith with sadness; if only he had known the wonder and joy of God's peace he would not have died a bitter and angry man. .