INTRODUCING is a blog series introducing you to some of the members of Redeemer. You will meet some of them through their fact file, their life story, or their faith journey.

Hi! I am Nicole, I am married to Tom and we have four children, Isaac, Rose, Naomi and Isabelle. How’d all that happen in 12 years?!

Being and Christian and coming to Colchester…

So I was brought up in a Christian home and I knew lots of bible stories and was encouraged through church and my parents to pray and talk to God when I needed to. So in that sense I have always believed in God and in his desire to be in our lives.  However, when I was 14 God really spoke to me personally. That may sound strange to some of you, but he showed me that he longs to have relationship with his children and that he loves it when we seek him.  There is so much to discover with God!  The father showed me a picture of Jesus being at the centre. In the picture Jesus was a huge bright light that I couldn’t really look at because of the brightness of his presence. However, his arm was outstretched towards me and he was asking me to look up and step closer, one step at a time.

Since then, I have been figuring out how to do this! I have failed in that journey many times and have got distracted. Jesus is so gracious, even amongst my sin and my failings, he never fails to reach out to me and forgive me again and again and again! It is so amazing to know that nothing that I have ever done can get in the way of me being close to the father because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to take my sin away from me. He also took all my guilt and shame. He did it all for me on the cross. Woohooo! So that journey continues….

Tom and I met at the City Church in Canterbury and got married. We then moved out to Thanet to help with a church plant and had 4 children!!! In 2013 we had tried to move back to Canterbury and every door we pushed was shut, jobs, house sales, finding a new home etc. In 2015 when we heard that Hugh and Claire were planning to come to Colchester, we said to each other that maybe we could go too!

Hugh and Claire asked us ever so nicely (no pressure!) to think about coming and we said that we would push some doors and see what happened. In the natural, it was a no brainer… we plain and simply couldn’t afford to go! Also, it would mean kids changing schools, a new job for Tom, new home, a lot of things coming together.

Tom found a job to apply for near Colchester in November 2015 and he was interviewed and offered the job then and there. So we prayed! Our house was on the market for a week and half and was sold with 3 buyers in one day! We were recommended a cheap removal company and used an online estate agent.  Everything was falling into place apart from finding a house!! Tom came to Colchester 2 weeks before we were due to complete on our house and found a house for us to rent. So the children and I saw it on the day we moved in! It is fantastic and more than we hoped for.

In amongst the chaos of getting ready to move we had many anonymous financial gifts. A friend helped us out with an interest free loan to pay for the cost of moving until our house was sold and suddenly we were able to pay for all the things we needed. God opened every door and we were able to move to Colchester.

The children were out of school for 2 weeks after the Easter holiday. We found out after a week that only Isaac had got into the school we applied. We prayed that the two girls would get in too. The next morning the head teacher had agreed to take the girls as well. Amazing, as the schools are seriously oversubscribed in Colchester.  Thank you Jesus!  The children have been incredibly brave and have made new friends and settled so well in their new school and home.

This is my story in short… there is a lot more to it!

We are now part of this wonderful church plant and are excited to see what God is doing and going to do in Colchester.