Emma's RCIA journey - 'God had a plan for me'

As a child I was baptised into the Church of England but didn’t go to church regularly until I was 11 years old. I had an active role in the church and volunteered with Brownies, Girl Guides, holiday clubs and Sunday school. I felt the call to be confirmed when I was 12 years old in the Church of England.

Then everything changed and I had to have an emergency brain operation as my health started to get worse. Following this I have developed many medical problems and have been in and out of hospital. I slowly started to drift away from church and contacts at church slowly drifted away too. I lost my job due to my health. I still believed in God but felt like my world was falling apart around me. I could no longer work or play football which I enjoyed. To be honest I was wondering why all of this was happening to me. My family stuck by me and my Dad has become my full-time carer. People said to me there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, but I was finding it hard to believe.

Then God started to turn my life around and show me the plan he had for me. I still suffer from a range of medical conditions, but good things started to happen. First, my physio told me about wheelchair football as a man who she has helped went (who turned out to be my future boyfriend John). Then I started to make friends and best of all get a wonderful boyfriend in John. First John brought me a statue of Mary from Lourdes and then he invited me to his church Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church. The church and congregation were very welcoming to me. Going into church I felt this sense of peace in God’s presence. I have also felt this when we attended Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I quickly decided that I wanted to become Catholic and so started on my Journey to confirmation with the RCIA group and Deacon Malcolm.

I learned so much about our faith and met lovely people through the RCIA group. I would like to thank my boyfriend John for being my sponsor, my Dad, Deacon Malcolm, Veronica, Peter and everyone on the RCIA program. I was meant to be confirmed in April but due to the COVID-19 pandemic this was rescheduled to September. Having the support and prayers of the RCIA group online was great. Along with everyone’s prayers we got through lockdown and prepared for the big day of my confirmation. It was a beautiful Mass and was great to have some of my family, boyfriend and friends present with me. Taking Holy Communion wasn’t straight forward for me as I can't eat or drink and am tube-fed but once again I was fully supported by the RCIA group, Father Anthony, Father Chris, the Church, my family, boyfriend and friends and a solution was found which I am so grateful to God for. I can take a tiny amount of the host under my tongue which slowly dissolves. It was a blessing to receive my Holy Communion and now be a full member of the Catholic Church.