In our series of personal, Christian testimonies we have the pleasure of publishing the testimony of midwife, Joan. She has a wonderful story and is in the process of writing a book about her life.
‘Higher Than Mine!’
I was born in India the daughter of a missionary and towards the end of war we came back to England. My father’s fellow missionary had commented, “The captain is very fortunate to have you on board ship, as I know from God you will get there safely! “
I was only six years of age when I asked my Christian mother: “How can I always be good?” She responded and I knelt by the side of my bed and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.
My mother taught me to have a ‘Quiet Time’ with God every day and I have done since I was about 10 years of age. Those times of Bible reading and prayer have helped me to keep on the ‘right track’ during my life.
Since I was a small child, I had always wanted to be a nurse and at my 11+ interview I had stated that I wanted to be a missionary nurse, much to the amusement of the teacher!
My sister and I were close and she became a Christian through the work of CSSM in Frinton-on-sea when she was eleven years old. At the age of 14 years, she had to have the removal of a kidney . She collapsed after the operation and we were told that she had cancer and if she lived, she would have secondary cancers. Within 10 minutes she was in heaven. I was very angry with God, but when I asked “Why?” a verse came to me “Prove me now says the Lord,” and immediately the peace of God flooded my heart.
I started my nurse training at Kings College Hospital, London and because of losing my sister I found I could empathise with people who were losing their loved one. I loved nursing and had a great time at Kings and was helped by a vibrant Nurses Fellowship that met every week. We also met up with Christian medical students and some of us have stayed in touch until this day!
The midwifery training at Woolwich was great! There was a ‘Thank You’ prayer said after every delivery, if the mothers wanted one and I carried this on during my midwifery career. I enjoyed tearing round the district at Ipswich on an old bike during my second part training, delivering babies in their mother’s homes!
After a year at Bible college in Glasgow, I had a serious mental breakdown and felt God was not with me, but with good nursing care and much prayer on the part of relatives and friends, I was restored to full health. Later though, I was not accepted as a missionary in Africa as I had hoped.
God gave me Isaiah 55 v 8 ‘My ways are higher than yours’ and they certainly have been! I later had a sister’s post in Colchester then Kings and a departmental sister’s post in Woolwich. I came back to Colchester in 1975 and later was asked to be in charge of the new delivery suite.
In 1985, I had cancer and had major surgery . Later I was asked to become a midwife teacher, something I would never have imagined possible. Then in 1994 there were cut backs and I felt God was calling me into something new.
In 1996, I was able to help start Friends International in Colchester at the University of Essex and my life has never been the same since! Christians in many different churches in Colchester give friendship and hospitality to overseas students.
God has shown me throughout my life that when He closes one door He opens another!
His ways have indeed been higher than mine!