My journey to the Truth, in hindsight, was a tapestry of God’s handiwork with each thread and stitch woven into an intricate pattern that finally led me to Him.

On reflection, God knew the end result before I had even begun to question.

I was fresh out of school when I started work­ing as a junior stenographer for a pharmaceutical company, W.E.Woods Pty. Ltd. In those days, I was using a manual Stott and Underwood typewriter that I found, to my dismay, in a museum only a few years after working there.

One day, I was asked to use the electric type­writer to type a few business letters. It would be quicker I was told. However, I was scared of this typewriter that only had to be breathed on to send the roller to the other side in a matter of a second. After typing my sixth letter and making mistakes, the General Manager, who yelled that I had destroyed sixteen letterheads at five pence a sheet, ordered me off the typewriter. Knowing he was prone to exaggeration, I respectfully corrected him, looking into the wastepaper basket, telling him there were only six!  Needless to say, when a position for a telepho­nist became available, I thought I would be better suited to that role. At the time, I wasn’t aware that this would be the beginning of my journey to God.

While working on the old Sylvester cord switchboard, I started talking to Jan, a secretary at our sister company, Woods and Woods, in the Sydney CBD.

Over a couple of years, I chatted to Jan in between calls, while she waited to speak to our Managing Director. We had become friends of sorts during these conversations, so we decided to meet and go to a movie in the city. We had to identify each other by describing what we were wearing. I had no idea that this would be the start of a long fifty-year friendship. I was eighteen at the time.

Soon after, my father was diagnosed with cancer, so I moved in with him and his wife. He died at forty two, the day before my nineteenth birthday. I remember walking out onto the verandah, question­ing my beliefs, wondering what was right and who had the answers to the meaning of our existence. As an ex-Catholic, I couldn’t accept the idea of heaven going after we die, as good as it all sounded. My common sense could not accept this notion but I wanted to find answers relating to life and death.

A few weeks later I received a call from Jan, who by this time had become engaged to Colin Byrnes. They were going to different denominations and were searching for answers to these questions themselves. Jan phoned me and asked me if I would like to join them. So we went to a few places, as I recall, but it seemed too heavy and academic to me.

I had been living in Woy Woy, about an hour’s drive from Hornsby on the Central Coast of NSW. Jan and Colin drove me there to collect my things and return to Sydney. I met them at Hornsby station but on the way we had to call into Colin’s parent’s place. It was a remarkable coincidence that as we drove down the street where Colin lived, I pointed to my old house where I had lived at age ten or eleven, only a few doors down from his place.

Colin said that he didn’t remember me but he did remember an ugly red headed girl who lived there. That girl was me!

Jan and Colin continued their search and were eventually baptised into the Christadelphian faith. On the other hand, having come from a restricted background, I wanted freedom to live my life the way I wished.

During this period, I met my husband. After having my son, who was my first child, I spent more time at home. At various times there were visits from members of the Mormon and Church of Christ denominations. Of course they all wanted to talk to me about their beliefs.

Trying to keep an open mind, I thought it would be interesting to hear what they believed. I told my husband I had invited a couple of Mormons over after dinner to discuss their beliefs and answer questions. He didn’t object to the idea.

The Mormon’s reasoning centred on the concept of going to heaven which they illustrated with a slide on the wall. Although it all looked good, I thought it was too good to be true. It wasn’t what I was expecting. My husband was an agnostic, so I hoped for a more intellectual discussion with some sensible answers that would appeal to his intellect.

The years went by. I was married with three young children. My three year old had a language difficulty. During this time, I had Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses calling regularly. Their ideas seemed reasonable. A turning point came when one morning a young Mormon offered to bless my house. I thought, the only one who can do that is God, so I thanked him and declined his offer.

We were about to move house and at that time I made a promise to God that after the move was completed, I would seek out what and who was right.

As promised, I started looking for answers. I remember thinking, if anyone has answers, it would be Jan and Colin, as I knew they had searched for a while and would not be satisfied until they uncov­ered answers that made sense, had substance and were intellectually sound.

With this in mind I phoned Jan and asked if she could let me know more. She sent me brochures that I tried to sieve through but I wasn’t getting answers that flowed and made sense to me.

I didn’t have a knowledge of the Bible’s underly­ing story and characters so it was difficult to grasp an idea or a doctrine. As Jan and Colin lived on the other side of Sydney, it wasn’t possible for me to see them as much as I would have liked.

Jan made arrangements for me to see a brother and sister, Vic and Anne Shane, who lived near me and were able to nurture me through the process of learning the Bible. Anne was a wonderful sister, who would take care of my two year old while I was being taken through the Scriptures. The Promises opened up a whole new world to me. Nevertheless, the process wasn’t easy. There were times when I felt like throwing in the towel and telling Vic and Anne to forget it. It was all becoming too hard. I was working, juggling three children under the age of five, driving to the other side of the city for my daughter’s therapy and tests and my husband had become antagonistic to this new ‘phase’ he thought I was going through.

I didn’t know what was propelling me. I just felt that I couldn’t give up now. A promise had been made, so I had to see it through. If doing this hadn’t made sense to me and the pieces of puzzle hadn’t started to come together piece by piece, I may have gone my own way again. In all honesty, I couldn’t understand why it had become so important to me. I look back now and it is as clear as day that God was weaving the tapestry but in His own good time and not mine.

Sadly the new ‘phase’ I was going through, wasn’t accepted by my husband. His family time was in­terrupted and this wasn’t what he had planned for all of us. My husband left. One positive that came from this experience was that I was able to take the children to Sunday school. My son was seven, my eldest daughter six and my youngest daughter, four and a half.

Through the years, I was able to raise the children to a good level of understanding. Although they de­cided to seek answers elsewhere, my two daughters have been baptised into the Christadelphian Faith. My son has not.    I have no doubt that God works with us, and through us, to bring about situations that lead us to Him. This statement may sound like a mere platitude but those who have experienced these situations really do understand that they are not alone. We need never be alone if we believe in God and do not deny Him. If we think of Christ, who must have felt terribly alone at times, when we are in the same position, I believe we can gain strength through knowing this.

I have now been a Christadelphian for thirty five years, being baptised when I was thirty three. My friendship and the bond formed with Jan and Colin and the period leading up to my baptism, I believe, was God’s handiwork, weaving the tapestry, stitch by stitch, that was instrumental in bringing me to an understanding of God and His truth.