I am so grateful for the experience I had at Castlerigg over a weekend with the Alpha group from my parish. I hadn’t expected it to be a life changing weekend.. but it was!
I had been praying in the chapel with and there I came so much closer to God, my faith grew so much within 2 hours. I hadn’t gone in there intentionally for anything to change but a lot did. Firstly I had been praying for my sister who has struggled with addiction for many years I prayed for her to find God and find peace, then I prayed for myself to find strength in all areas my life to stay positive and strong as it’s quite hard to stay hopeful when trying to help someone suffering with addictions. Then I prayed for my partner to be happy as he was struggling with depression and was quite down at the time. Our group leaders prayed over me during this time.
I left the chapel in floods of tears of relief - feeling that I had got everything out. One of the leaders came to find me with a book called “God’s guide to anti-depression” and I thought oh great now they think I need help and I’m depressed.... So I went to one of the quiet rooms at the front of the house and read the book. Then thought hmm yeah, that’s about right. When I got home had a cigarette which was the last one in my packet and remembered the line in the book “He has set fire and water before you; put out your hand to whichever you prefer. A human being has life and death before him whichever he prefers will be given to him” (Ecclesiastes 15:16-17) So I threw the packet away and that was that (4 months ago) Then to my amazement I said to my partner... read this book!! So he read it, and joined the gym. Then I said to my sister read this book!! She went to an AA meeting the following night. Then onto rehab and is now in recovery and going to Church!
So the book went in my bag to work where I told a girl I work with about it who gave it to her partner who began counselling sessions shortly after to find some long lost peace of his own.
The book is now in our next Alpha and making its way around to those who need it.
So In one short trip to Castlerigg God answered all my prayers, gave me strength hope and faith where I needed it, I made new friends and spent some amazingly peaceful time being able to connect with God and not have any daily disturbances.
Thank you to everyone at Castlerigg. It’s an amazing place to be.