My relationship with The Well began on 25 November 2019. I see this as a pivotal moment in my life and journey with God, for reasons that will become clear.
I was already aware of The Well, as my wife had been to several sessions of ‘Rest and Receive’ prayer and found them very beneficial. I was at one of those watershed moments in life. My career in the Police Service was drawing to a close, with retirement looming in January 2020, and all those thoughts and insecurities came flooding in about the future, my worth and usefulness. I suppose that after such a full career, and especially the last decade of dealing with some pretty horrific crimes within my career path of Homicide investigation, it was never going to be an easy transition and always had the potential to be a pretty bumpy ride.
It was in that context that I became aware of the Healing Training evening at a local church (All Saints, Allesley), led by The Well. Over the years I had been on several of these types of events, having had training through the Lighthouse and also Graham Dow at Holy Trinity, so thought this might be a good opportunity to push on a few doors as I went into this new period of my life.
Many familiar faces were there, but it was here that I met a man who I had heard a lot about, but whom I had never actually met – someone well-known and loved by the Christian community in Coventry – Maurice Markham. The encounter I was to have that night with him and the Lord has proved to be foundational to this first retirement year.
The stand-out moment for me was when Anne asked us to practise using Bible verses on each other to bless and encourage. As Maurice was sitting near me, we paired up. He looked me straight in the eyes and gently spoke the words from Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing…” Maurice never knew my circumstances, but God did and wanted to use him powerfully that night.
Maurice spoke with authority but in such a gentle way, it was like God Himself was whispering to me. It just took me quite by surprise and I could feel the well of tears begin to flow. God certainly knew what He was doing that night, and I left with a new and renewed sense that yes, this was the end of one career, but just the beginning of something entirely new and exciting. A step into the unknown, but I could go forward with a renewed sense of hope that God had not forgotten or abandoned me and still had plans for me.
Over January and February of 2020 I had personal prayer with Maurice and the Team at The Well. Each time I have encountered God in a very real and powerful way. Many of the past traumas and resultant effects upon me throughout my Police Service have been and are still being healed by God through the very special, gifted and anointed people at The Well, in addition to some powerful healing through generational prayer.
I have been amazed by God and how He speaks through the words given each time I go. They are just so right for me personally. It’s like God himself speaking directly into my circumstances and situation.
Also, throughout this very different year, I have been able to navigate retirement and all the effects of the virus upon our lives by regularly signing up to the Quiet Mornings, which have been just phenomenal. I find that that through the teaching and materials of each one, God has continued to have His hand firmly on me and continues to speak and encourage at just the right time.
Two memorable days were in January, when Anne asked us to explore our hopes for 2020 and express them before the Lord in whatever way we wanted. This turned out to be more significant that I could have ever realised. I have felt able to express worship through a different medium like never before, in the use of colour and drawing.
The 18th June was another special day for me, which brought the birth of my first grandchild and happened to coincide with me being on a Quiet Morning about fear, worry and anxiety. As it happened, the weeks leading up to the birth had been a very anxious time for me, as my daughter had had a few health issues during her pregnancy and the unborn baby had not been growing particularly well.
However, during the morning I experienced God’s overwhelming peace and such freedom from the previous fears that had so affected me. Again I heard that whisper of assurance that everything would work out fine, and it did. A wonderful baby girl was born that night.
I cannot thank my God and the work of The Well enough. What an amazing place, so used by Him. I would encourage anyone to visit. You won’t regret it.