Personal Stories: Kate Buckingham's story
What Do You Want Me To Do, God? I Am Dissatisfied
Kate Buckingham is married to Richard and they have two girls, Sarah and Emily, who witnessed her baptism. Brought up in a Christian family her church-going lapsed as a teenager but was rekindled a decade later. She really put her all into the church. But then a feeling of unfullfillment set in …….. until she realized what the problem was.
“My mum brought me up to know God, I believed in Him as a child, I believed in His salvation. I never stopped believing in Him, but in my teens I stopped going to church as I had other things to do, and I stayed away until my late 20s when I ended up in a church in Worthing.”
Kate was new to the town and soon became heavily involved with this church. “I had just moved to Worthing and I got married in that church, had the children baptised there, and I became a member. I was very busy there, very active. I was on the Church Council, on the rota to do the door, on the rota to do coffees, and on the committees. I was a well-known face there. This lasted for about six years.”
In that period, unbeknown to Kate, the Holy Spirit had been at work. “During that time, looking back on it, I didn’t see it then, but during that time God started to do something major in my life then.”
A believer with very strong faith came into her life. “I met a friend through work, Ros, who was a Christian, and as our friendship deepened and we started to talk, I knew that although we were both Christians she had something that I didn’t have. She had a faith that I didn’t have, and I just thought ‘well, that’s OK, that’s the way that Ros worships, she goes to a different church, it’s just different. I am me, and that’s fine’”.
However, discontentment eventually set in. “Gradually in the summer of 1997 I started to get more and more dissatisfied with things. I didn’t know what the problem was, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was just dissatisfied, and in church, which was where I did most of my praying, I said ‘what do you want me to do, God, I am dissatisfied, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to change committees, do you want me to do something different, what is it you want me to do?’”
“And then the House Group that I was in decided to look at one of the Alpha videos to see what it was about and see whether we could use it in our church. So mum and I went along, very nearly didn’t, but we did, and I sat and watched this video.”
“Nicky Gumbell was talking very calmly, and the video was called Boring, Untrue, Irrelevant and it just presented the facts about Jesus and the facts about faith, and for me it was as though God had said ‘watch this video, this is what I want you to know’.
“And I watched, and when I came out from watching that video everything came together. I realized that I was dissatisfied because I didn’t know God personally, I didn’t know Jesus as a daily friend. I knew God on a Sunday when I went to church, and I knew the things you are supposed to believe in, but I didn’t know Jesus personally.”
“And from that day onwards I started to, and I knew I had to find a church where I could express that relationship and worship Jesus in a real way, so obviously I followed Ros to New Life.”
“God has just poured blessings on my life in the last two years. I have got new friends, close friends that have helped me to grow in this relationship with Jesus. He has blessed my family life.”
Kate’s new-found confidence had a profound effect upon her family and friends. “I have seen my sister and good friends who are here today come to faith and deepen their faith.”
“He has provided for us materially, and I just know that he will go on blessing me because he is real and alive, and he is alive in my life.”