I’m Hilary Worthington. I’ve been married to David for 47 years. I was brought up in Birmingham and my father went to church. My mother didn’t because her family had been upset at the church she went to when she was very small and they all left and didn’t go anywhere else. So it’s difficult to say whether I was brought up in Christian home or not. There were certain Christian principles there. And there were a whole lot of Christians at the teacher training college that I went to just outside Oxford where I met David. And it was due to this group mainly that I ended up becoming a Christian. So God was very gracious to me.
Going Back: Monday 12 June 1972
I can tell you that I became a Christian just after 13:30pm on Monday 12 June 1972. And I needed to know that that was very real because I had prayed wanting to become a Christian and somebody thought that that was my prayer of commitment, but it wasn’t. It was a prayer saying, I really want to know you, Jesus, but I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. I don’t seem to be able to take that final step or whatever it was at the time.
And at that time on June the 12th, I said out loud to somebody who was talking to me about the faith, It’s no use. I’m not a Christian yet. Now I’ve been brought up thinking that I was a Christian. And I think that was the thing that I had to say to God. I’m not a Christian yet. I thought I was. And at the moment that I said that I felt almost physically as though I was being emptied and filled back up again, which I know that was the Holy Spirit coming in. I didn’t say anything to anybody at the time. I thought, Oh, interesting. And I was thinking, I’m going to have to say something. And I sat there. I thought, No, I’m going to have to say something. And eventually I said, thank you, God! that I’ve become a Christian today. And two other people in the room had almost, they told me later, had almost thought, “We’re waiting too long. We need to pray” and God stopped them doing it. And I sat there thinking, nobody’s going to say anything until you speak, so I better speak. So that was also my first experience of God being very close and speaking very definitely. It’s not an audible voice, but I know what the words are pretty much when God speaks to me like that.
So immediately things look brighter and bigger. And that was quite something. I just know that life with Jesus for 50 years has been amazing. It hasn’t been easy necessarily, but it has been quite amazing. One of the verses that’s very important to me is do all to the glory of God, which is what I’ve tried to base my life on. So it’s not what I’m doing, it’s what God’s doing in me. David’s very good at greeting people and making them feel welcome. I’m sure there are loads of people in the church who know that. I’m better at more behind the scenes things. And we have had sessions where we’ve been encouraged to investigate what our spiritual gifts are. We both have ‘hospitality’ and I have what used to be described as a ‘gift of helps’, which amongst other things, it’s seeing odd bits that need doing that nobody else is doing; and then going and doing them. I used to be one of the people who operated first the overhead projector for the words, and then gradually that became on the computer and so on. And I’ve been through pretty well all the stages of that.
But ultimately, you have just got to say to Jesus. I want to get to know you. I don’t know you yet, but I want to get to know you. And Jesus promised the abundant life. I love that word, abundant. And even in difficult times, you can have that abundant life, that joy, which is not the same as happiness. Joy is much deeper. I think that’s what I would say to people.
Alpha: Explore Faith
If you would like to know more about the Christian Faith at Riverside we regularly run the Alpha Course. This is a brilliant opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith in a relaxed and friendly environment. You may have questions like:
What is the meaning of life?
What happens when we die?
Is Jesus Christ relevant to my life and the world today?
How do we deal with guilt?
To find out more please visit the Alpha Page on our website or contact us. We would love to hear from you.
If after reading this blog post you would like to contact someone on our pastoral team about finding your spiritual gifts or if you would like someone to pray with you, please do contact us. We would love to hear from you. Click below to visit our ‘Teams: Register Interest’ form and select ‘Stength Finder’.