Personal Stories: Colin Ingrey's story
We Were On The Verge Of Divorce When I Gave My Life To Jesus
Colin’s Life Story
I had a difficult childhood, was quite sickly at times and so not particularly tough. My father left home when I was about 8 or 9 and my parents divorced when I was 12. We were very poor, and we lived in a cottage that was tied to my fathers’ job, so we had to move quickly.
I became quite self sufficient believing that if people couldn’t see my feelings they couldn’t hurt me. I began to make a small mark at school but the work-place was quite different and I was made redundant several times, I didn’t “fit-in” very well. Eventually I got a job that took me away from home, staying in hotels 4 nights a week and returning home at weekends. I was striving to earn enough money for my family to have a better life that I’d had as a child.
Along with new lifestyle I played hard and drank too much. I enjoyed the freedom at first but it soon turned sour.
I realised that my family were building a different life from mine, I resented it but didn’t know how I could change things. I met a Christian at work and she introduced me to some other Christians who befriended me and answered some of the questions that had been at the back of my mind but I had suppressed until now. By this time, I couldn’t even talk with my wife. We were on the verge of divorce when I gave my life to Jesus. I immediately realised that I could not leave my family (as my own father had), nor could things stay as they were. I had only just prayed the prayer to invite Jesus into my life and the awful realisation of going through the rest of our lives as we were was just too much. I turned back to God and asked Him to put the love back into our marriage. I didn’t beg, nor plead, just prayed a simple prayer in faith. He answered - straight away. It was the most humbling experience in my life up to that point.
We began to see God working in our lives straight away. My wife and two children were staying with friends, for a short holiday, so I phoned to tell her that I was being baptised the next Sunday. I asked her if there was any possibility she could be there, I didn’t expect anything I just wanted her to see the change in me not just be told about it. She noticed that I seemed to be different and actually asked if I had been drinking! We talked for quite a while and I asked her to forgive me and took the very bold step and asked if could start again. She came with the children to my baptism, and during the service I read aloud 1 Corinthians 13, which talks about Gods love. I hadn’t ever read it before but I believe God led me to read it my wife.
Since then, life has been difficult at times there have been many trials for us and with our family, but God has led us through it all, and I can now see that He has been preparing us for the life He had planned. Through it all, we could not have coped without Jesus in the centre of lives and our marriage. Our marriage before, strong as it was, was no match for what we went through then and would certainly have not have held together during what we have experienced since. Since 1990 when all this happened God has rebuilt me, re-moulded me, into the person I believe He designed me to be – I am free to be that person, and I am comfortable with “me”. Not pressured by what the world thinks I ought to be, nor my own selfish desires but what God wants me to be, and that, strangely enough, gives me incredible freedom and blessing beyond anything I can express.
Oh, by the way, my wife and I celebrate 40 years of marriage in September 2012!