Tag Archives: Mercy Tree

Verse of the Day – Habakkuk 3:18

Habakkuk 3:18

Habakkuk 3:18

With out God I would have perished so long ago, without Him I am nothing, so in Him I rejoice for the life that I have.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broken weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole
Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation by the mercy tree

In the spot between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Beaten, battered, scarred, and scorned
Sacred head pierced by our thorns
It is finished was his cry
The perfect lamb was crucified
His sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth quaked at love’s display
Three days silent in the ground
This body born for heaven’s crown
On that bright and glorious day
When heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed!
Praise him for the mercy tree!

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

One day soon, we’ll see his face
And every tear, he’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

 

My Voice, His Story – Celebrating 225 Weeks Sober

This is my voice, but His story.

This video was recorded back in March, just a few weeks before my four year Sober anniversary.  For weeks leading up to the recording I would find myself going over and over the story in my head, it had be suggested some time before that I make a testimony video, so I bit the bullet and arranged with Phil to record one, this is the result.

It has been played at all of our Church campuses, but this is the first time it has been shared on-line, I choose to share it now, the 225th week of my sober journey.

I am so thankful for those few days, where darkness turned to light and I felt the touch of God upon my soul, when the bottle fell from my hands.

I have to thank Gareth and Leanne, the senior Pastors at Everyday Champions Church, for not only giving me the chance to make this video, but for being there when I needed a second chance at life, also a big thank you for everyone who has stood by me on the journey so far.

Please feel to share this testimony.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broken weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole
Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation by the mercy tree

In the spot between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Beaten, battered, scarred, and scorned
Sacred head pierced by our thorns
It is finished was his cry
The perfect lamb was crucified
His sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth quaked at love’s display
Three days silent in the ground
This body born for heaven’s crown
On that bright and glorious day
When heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed!
Praise him for the mercy tree!

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

One day soon, we’ll see his face
And every tear, he’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Praise him for the mercy tree

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

My Awesome Day

I have to say that so far this has been the most awesome Easter Day ever, for me it feels like a day of total redemption.

This coming Tuesday I will be celebrating 4 years sober, which in its self is a massive achievement, that I am both proud of and thankful for the strength of God to make it through this far.

But it was the events that led up to that in the preceding weeks, that are first and foremost in my thoughts following the events of today. Eleven days before that last drink, I found myself wanting to end my own life, to give up on everything, I felt so worthless and was convinced that my family and Victoria would be better off without me. I stood facing the mirror with a knife against my wrist, going through all these thoughts of worthlessness.

Then out of nowhere I heard a voice that said “It’s better that your kids live with who you are now, than what they are going to find!”

I remember seeing a vision of myself dead in a bath of blood and knowing that my six year old daughter would have been the one to come looking and find me. After that I put down the knife.

That started the process of seeking help, praying and discovering God, becoming sober and starting to attend Church.

So today just over four years on from that day I had the amazing experience of Baptising my now 10 year old daughter. Eve asked to be baptised so Victoria asked if I could be in the pool and do the actual baptism, which I am thankful I was able to do.

It was an amazing experience and very emotional, afterwards so many people came up to say that they had shed a tear whilst watching. I am so thankful I got that chance to do this for my daughter, it was an amazing experience for her too. She recorded a testimony video which was shown on the screen, she stated she wanted to be baptised because she wanted to do something that Jesus had done!

Eve - waiting

Eve – waiting

Eve - baptised

Eve – baptised

For me this feels like I put aside some of my guilt, my torment of what I did and became, the pain of that day four years ago now seems so distant, as I say, it feels like total redemption. To be able to do this and on Easter Sunday, celebrating Christ’s sacrifice and rising from the dead, is so special.

To top it off, my Mum and Dad attended Church. My Dad is now recovering well from his heart bypass operation, he’s still not able to drive for a few weeks, so my friends from my Connect Group chipped in to collect them and take them home. My Dad stated that he usually only goes to Church for weddings, funerals etc, but I have a feeling that he actually enjoyed it, although I’m not sure he was quite ready for the way we do church, neither of them have ever been to a Church like ours before. Although I’ve got a feeling they will be back, they brought my niece too, who went into Kids Church, she absolutely loved it, so I’ve got a feeling she will want to come back too.

So roll on now Tuesday evening, I have arranged for a number of the guys from Church, who have been amazing supporters on my four year journey to join me for a meal in town to celebrate, it’s going to be a great evening, I can’t wait.

My life may not be perfect, but at the moment it feels amazing.

All because of the sacrifice of the one, the one who conquered death.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Finding The Green Fields Once Again

About a month ago I got off to a bit of a false start in terms of getting out each morning and walking as the sun rises.  At one time I was out every morning, regardless of the weather, the days when I walked seemed to have far more balance to them, then about two years ago it started to get a little sporadic, until eventually I stopped before slipping into a period of dark depression.

Over the last couple of years I’ve tried many a time to get out again.  Just like a month ago it starts out alright for a few days, but somehow I find an excuse to miss a day, then two, then three and so on and so on.  Last month it lasted just short of a week and then due to being busy with work, I decided I was too tired and caved in each morning.  But each night I would berate myself in my journal for not getting out, I would promise myself I would get out again the next morning, but it never happened and the cycle carried on.  This morning though, the alarm went of and there was no deliberation, within ten minutes I was out the house walking.

My plan was to walk the cycle track, which is about four miles long and then return, it a total walk of around eight and half miles, in around two hours, on the way I would just make it to the lake as the sun rises.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Hidden

Hidden

Beyond

Beyond

Over The Green Fields

Over The Green Fields

Before The Clouds

Before The Clouds

As I got to the end of the track, which up to the point where I turn around is tarmac, I noticed that the dirt path which continues for another few miles had been cut back, over recent years it has been overgrown, last time I attempted to walk it was almost three years ago, but it was so overgrown I couldn’t get through.  I walked it about five years ago and remember coming across a peaceful little spot where a small stream runs under a bridge, I’ve wanted to find it again so many times, but as I say the last time I tried it was impossible.

This morning for some reason, I just carried on, without even thinking I found myself walking the small path, until I found the bridge right at the end of the path, after the bridge it is still overgrown, but I wasn’t bothered about that, I had found what I wanted.

The Stream

The Stream

The Bridge

The Bridge

It’s Bank Holiday Monday tomorrow and I am not working this one, so all being well I intend to walk it again in the morning, although my aching hips may have something to say about that!!!

This morning I wrote “Green Fields”, I felt it was an answer to my prayers, to get up again and get out walking, I feel I have drifted a little for long enough, keeping some of the routines that help me along the way in this recovery, but abandoning others, like the daily walking.

There is a cheeky reference in there from a classic song, not sure whether anyone can spot it, there a clue included in the title too.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Verse of the Day – Luke 23:39-43

Luke 23:39-43

Luke 23:39-43

Of all the things that Jesus did for us on the cross, this stands out to me the most, it didn’t matter what the criminal had done, his past was forgotten, he simply recognised Jesus for who he truly was, that was enough, his reward… his place in heaven alongside Jesus.

Unfortunately, though I know my past is forgotten, I still let it haunt me from time to time!

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Verse of the Day – Psalm 118:5-7

Psalm 118:5-7

Psalm 118:5-7

It’s here, two years of sobriety, I’m thankful the Lord heard my cries and set me free.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Verse of the Day – Psalm 139:14

Psalm 139:14

Psalm 139:14

Tonight I’m thankful for all His works in me, only 3 more days to go until I make it to 100 weeks sober!!!

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Surviving The Quiet Times

I wrote yesterday that this has been my worst Christmas ever, I guess I should explain, it’s not that it’s been really that bad, if fact it’s gone better than I actually expected, but a week ago I was dreading it, I just didn’t know what state of mind I would find myself in, especially in the quiet times and believe me there have been a few of them.

I saw the kids and Victoria for a few hours yesterday morning, before I set off for Church and they set off for Victoria’s Mum’s, that was it until they returned yesterday evening.  I wasn’t that great company in the morning, in fact at one point I had to remove myself from the room as I needed to cry, I didn’t let them see, I just took myself away.

At Church I felt like I just wanted to cry and on the way home it was everything I could do to stop myself from crying.  When I got in I made myself some dinner and just settled down for the rest of the day, the tears soon dry up.

This was the part I was dreading, I was sure I would really struggle through this part of the day, but in the end, after having something to eat it felt like just another day when I’m home alone, it didn’t feel any different really, it was like Christmas wasn’t really happening, just a normal sort of day.

I could have gone to my Mum and Dad’s, but to be honest I just couldn’t face that.  They really don’t understand my affliction, they just don’t get it, when I told my Dad about my drinking problems, his response was “Do you want a drink now?”, when I said no his answer was “well you’re not an alcoholic then!”  It’s not that they are bad people, they just don’t get it or won’t accept it, my Mum will say things like “are you still being good?”  What am I six years old or what?

They don’t understand my situation here at home either, I just couldn’t face them going on about it all afternoon, I would probably lose it and really make things worse, which was the last thing any of us need this year, both of them lost their mothers this year and me, both my Nan’s, it’s the first Christmas without them, not easy for any of us, especially when traditionally they would have one of them for lunch and then we would go to my Mum’s Mum for tea.  I feel a little guilty as they are probably struggling with all that too, but in my current frame of mind, I’m sorry but I couldn’t face it, I felt it better to be alone.

I was okay with my own company, which surprised me, the only downside was that for the first time ever I didn’t have a traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day, I’ve always had one, but I guess there’s a first time for everything, but I enjoyed my dinner regardless.  I did get a Christmas Dinner earlier today though, Victoria’s Mum sent me one home last night, so I warmed it up for lunch.

The kids and Victoria have been out again since lunch, so it’s been another lonely day, but again it feels like just any other day, not a bit like Christmas or Boxing Day, which is probably a good thing.

I’m just glad I sought treatment when I did, I really don’t think I could have got through these last few day feeling like I did a month or so ago.  It’s was when I met with Paul and Sarah that Sarah suggested I go to the Doctor’s for help, but as always I put it off, but as it got worse and then James insisting that I get help, that I went to the Doctor’s and was put on these Antidepressants.  The early weeks were awkward with the side effects and I still have bad days amongst the good ones, I still slip into the dark areas of my mind from time to time, I still have moments of utter despondency and I think none of this is worth it, but they are not that strong any more and I’m not chained to them like I was a month ago, so thankfully I’ve been able to cope, as I say I have been fighting tears from time to time, but on the whole I feel okay.

This morning I put some Worship music on and sang along with each one, which made me feel better, I can always rely on music to lift my spirits a little when I need it.  And as I do quite regularly when I’m alone, I seek out Bible verses that speak to me.

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
James 5:13

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:6

It’s back to work for a few hours in the morning , which will be nice break from these four walls, it’s bit of time just to break things up, even though there probably won’t be a lot to do, plus it will be back to a little bit of routine.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Connecting The Positives Once Again

My Church Connect Groups have nearly always been a source of inspiration to me, there have been few that I haven’t left far more positive than I’ve arrived, last night was what I would consider a great breakthrough for me, considering my mind set of the last couple of months.

This dip into depression started a couple of months ago, I’m not sure whether one particular teaching at Church started it or whether it was the steady onset of depression that saw the worst in what should have been an inspiration teaching.

Since that Sunday on 20th October 2013 I began to start seeing everything so negatively, teachings meant to build, I saw as condemnation of everything I did wrong in the past, everything seemed to point to what I got wrong and in my head I began to believe I was never going to be good enough, I would never get away from everything that I let happen, everything that brought me to the edge of suicide.  As the weeks went by, things got worse and worse and I couldn’t get away from my problems.  As everything else built up, the extra work became unreasonable and the money situation seemed to get gradually worse, I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on anything.  I don’t actually think for one minute that Sunday the 20th was the day this all started, when I read my journal from the Sunday before, it was evident that something was wrong then and I wasn’t myself, but it did get worse from that day.

I can’t easily explain where I was in those weeks from that day, I guess we suffer our depression in very different ways.   Some days would pass without too much of an issue, others I would find myself from time to time drifting into another consciousness, I would find myself just staring out into nothing and then after coming back to earth with a jolt, I wouldn’t know where I was for a moment.  Other times I would be so lost in everything that was wrong and blaming myself for all that was wrong that it drove me to despair, I just wanted to be alone at those times, which was difficult at work, it lead to some tough situations and on a couple of occasions it was all I could do to stop myself grabbing my stuff and just walking out.  Thankfully I didn’t, as that wouldn’t of helped anything, my boss is an old friend and he saw there was something wrong and gave me some space, which was good, but trying to explain to colleagues why I was acting the way I was, wasn’t easy.

It took a big effort to pick the phone up and call the Doctors, I think we males don’t like to admit there is something wrong and even more so do we like to admit something like depression.  To try and explain to the Doctor exactly how I was feeling and admitting that “yes, I have had suicidal thoughts” was hard, much harder than last year when I had to admit to being an alcoholic, I don’t know why, but this time seemed to much more painful, maybe last year I was beginning to see a way forward and that was another step to a better life, this time around I was in the middle of my own private hell and I couldn’t see a way forward, this time I was lost, completely lost.

Thankfully the Doctor was very patient and understanding, the medication, although with strange side effects at first, has certainly began to set me on my feet again, as each day I feel more myself, I move away from those dark thoughts and back into a positive outlook for the future.

One of the lowest points in the last few months was the Connect Group on Wednesday 13th November, I can’t really explain how it came to be so bad, when I arrived I felt okay, then as we watched the teaching video, it all seemed to evaporate, I don’t even remember now what the video was about, I remember just staring blankly, I remember someone saying something that hit me like a ton of bricks and when I was asked for my thoughts, I just reiterated what they said and broke down into a continual flood of tears, it was a mess of night and a real low point for me.  By the time of the next group meeting I had been to the Doctors and started the antidepressant medication, although I still wasn’t myself, I certainly wasn’t as raw or emotional, things did start to improve.

Last night was a massive step forward for me, we discussed how words can build and break people, which was interesting, as I sat watching Gareth on the video discussing how we should talk and ask the right questions of people to help them, I was suddenly taken back in my mind to the evening of Monday 19th March 2012 and seeing him sat on my settee across the room from me, doing everything he was instructing us to do, the meeting that night changed my life, it was good to have that reminder of different my life is now.  I’m so thankful to Gareth for what he did for me that night, it also so comforting to know that in Gareth we have a Pastor that one hundred percent practices what he preaches, he really leads by example.

When we discussed examples of where in our lives words have built us up as individuals, mine included that meeting that night, without that I would never have found God and very possibly wouldn’t have made through to today.  My other example was from a year ago when the Holy Spirit definitely led me with the right words, after seeing in my mind a conversation a number of times over three weeks, only for it to take place and for me to help a youngster who was self harming, that was a situation which could have gone so wrong, luckily I was prepared to help and it ended in the youngster handing me the blades they used to cut themselves.

It was ironic that Sarah who now leads our group helped me at that time, I spoke to her at length last year about what was happening, she quite rightly pointed out last night that I was “freaked out” about it, too right I was, when I realised what had transpired I really didn’t understand what was happening to me, why I had seen this, why me and why it come to pass the way it did, she helped me through it then, just as she has helped me through all of this over the last month.

Indeed last night Sarah commented on how well I was doing now and said it was nice to see a smile on my face again, too true, it feels great to be able to smile again.

I can only thank God for the strength He has given me to get through these last few months, there were times when I didn’t want to do it anymore, where death seemed easier than the pain I was in, but I made it through, He gave me the strength to pick the phone and seek the help I needed.  I also thank Him for the great people He has placed in my life, like Gareth and Sarah and the other members of my Connect Group and Everyday Champions Church, who have stood by me, supported me and prayed for me through all of my struggles, once again I am so thankful.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broken weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole
Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation by the mercy tree

In the sky between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Beaten, battered, scarred, and scorned
Sacred head pierced by our thorns
It is finished was his cry
The perfect lamb was crucified
His sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth quaked at love’s display
Three days silent in the ground
This body born for heaven’s crown
On that bright and glorious day
When heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed!
Praise him for the mercy tree!

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

One day soon, we’ll see his face
And every tear, he’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree