Post Author: Riverside Church

At Riverside we are on a journey to help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers across Birmingham and beyond. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you're so welcome in this community.
June 20, 2023
A Riverside Story | Lynwen



About Me:

My name is Lynwen Bickers. I have been coming to Riverside since it started. My Mom and Dad were one of the first families to join Riverside. I’ve grown up in a Christian family. My grandparents are Christians. My Aunties and Uncles are Christians. It’s part of my heritage, I guess. I became a Christian at a very young age. Billie Graham thing many, many moons ago. Lynn Homer, who still comes to Riverside, prayed with me. I think it’s just been part of my life. I don’t think I’ve had a big conversion experience. I think it’s just part of my thinking, part of who I am, even when I’m questioning everything and I don’t know what I think, I’m still thinking about God. So it’s almost even in my massive doubts, God’s still in it. And I think that’s been my main experience, really.


University Days

 So I went to university, I did a Sociology degree, which basically I had seven hours a week of study, which is nothing, which obviously gave me lots and lots of spare time. And so my partying side came out with a vengeance when I was at uni. And I had an absolute wail of a time. I joined the rugby club and basically went out every night. I had a party, really. I guess in a way ended up a little bit like the Prodigal Son, because I ran out of money, had nothing. I couldn’t pay my rent. In those days, Mom and Dad didn’t have any money, so I wasn’t going to ring them and ask them for money. I decided to do the next best thing and I went on a run. I was running along and I thought I’d have a chat with God. I was praying, going, “God.. you’ve promised to provide and I’ve got no money, so you need to provide for me because I’ve got no rent.” Now, obviously, I do know that it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that God provides for people who spend all their money on going out and partying. But at that moment in time, I felt that I was entitled and that was something I could request.


A Gift From God

Anyway, I went home and decided to pop home for the weekend for the Sunday lunch, get my washing done and eat a bit of free food. Mum and Dad had some friends over. Anyway, just as they were leaving, Pam Walters, who some people will still know from Riverside, came up to me and she just said “I have really felt that God told me to give you this”. So she gave me an envelope. I went up to my room and opened it and basically inside there was a £100 cheque. This was 25 years ago, at that time this amount was like a month’s rent. So it was like, oh, my goodness! So obviously I could pay my rent, but it was something so much more deeper for me. Having that, literally, my initial experience was just to feel just complete shame actually. And I just wanted to curl up in a ball. And it was almost like, oh! God you actually were listening to me when I was there on my run, blabbing away. So obviously in a practical way, I could pay my rent, which is brilliant, but it was more this far deeper thing of like, oh, my goodness!, God, you actually genuinely are walking my life with me in all of its mess, and you are just there in my life.


A Line In The Sand

Now, I’d love to say that I then transformed my life and turned it around and became a missionary, but I didn’t. I just went back to university and carried on doing what I was doing and didn’t actually change at all. But for me, this was a really significant point in my life that I always look back on actually, because it felt like a bit of a line in the sand. It feels and still does a bit like the flag on the moon of God stating his place in my life. Even when I didn’t deserve it, God came and spoke and saw me and chose to provide and still loves me in all of that. So therefore, if he did that when I didn’t deserve it, when I was really arrogant and not even humble in that, then actually he’s also doing that in my day to day now. Because I think sometimes, I don’t know about other people, but there will be time when I think, “Oh yeah, God did this and it was really amazing. That was such an answer to prayer.” And then over time I think, “Well, it might have happened anyway. Maybe it was because I did this actually, maybe I would have got that job. It’s just because I just did a brilliant interview” and they wear away; whereas this has just stood and I can’t shift it. It doesn’t move. Every other thing I then look through that and that has just been really precious actually. I can’t challenge it, I can’t question it. It’s just there. It’s given me a confidence even when I’m utterly empty and broken and when things don’t make sense and when I’m bored and I don’t know what I believe anymore and I’ve got more questions than answers. I’ve just got this little flag that it’s just there. So that just feels really like a massive gift that God’s given me.


If after reading this blog post you would like to contact someone on our pastoral team or if you would like someone to pray with you, please do contact us. We would love to hear from you.





Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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