Baptism - January 2009

Jenny Layton's Story...

I was born here in Ipswich, but spent most of my childhood overseas in the U.S. where we had to move around quite a lot! Because my step father was in the Air Force, we also spent some time in Germany. Then in 1993 we moved back here to the U.K.

It wasn’t an easy time for us as a family, though I know mum did the best she could for us.
My family didn’t go the church or practise faith in any way, although when my brother and I were younger we went to Sunday School.

Whilst we were in the States, and then when I was around 13 or 14, I went to a youth club at The Triangle Church which I really did enjoy. I liked being around Christian people. I felt safe and really cared for. As a teenage I had my faults like most at that age.

Then at 18 I met Michael, my husband. Shortly after we were married. Now I have four wonderful children that I adore! Our marriage hasn’t been easy. It’s had some really difficult times, especially three years ago when it reached an all time low. I was almost at breaking point.

However, in the midst of it all Claire and Noel invited me to their old church which was the Orwell Centre. I did like it there. We went for a short while until I had to go back to work. I had to work weekends as I thought it would be better with the children. Then one day, when things hadn’t really got any better and I didn’t know where I was heading, they invited me over to their house with their pastor there, Harold. At that time I prayed the prayer that I wanted to live my life by Jesus and ask forgiveness for not including Him in my life before.

From then on my hunger and interest has grown and grown. Sally Soon encouraged me to go to Tiddlywinks and Toy Library, and eventually I agreed to go! Sally’s always been an inspiration to me, so I listen to her.

Tiddlywinks is where I first met Julie, who after a while invited me to join a group together with Amanda and Charraine which was called Christianity Explored. At this point I had already become a Christian, but I was really keen to find out more about the faith.

However, at the same time I was still working weekends, which meant I’d rarely get to go to church, and I relied on a friend to bring me a CD to listen to so I could still follow what was happening. I took part in a Start course with Siobhan & Naomi. Then I did the Discipleship Course with Linda Pepper, Amanda and Tina.

At this point I didn’t really feel ready to make any commitment to the church. I’ve been patient in my journey so far, just wanting to be 100% sure of myself. I now belong to The Lydia Group on Tuesday mornings with Kathryn and some other amazing ladies. This has helped me continue to grow and to learn more and more about Jesus.

Then in July last year, after a lot of praying and deep consideration, I decided to drop the weekend working.
I knew it would cause a big loss in my income, but I was desperate to be at home with the children, and also wanted to be able to come to church regularly to be more obedient to God.

I now know the direction my life is taking. I’m following Jesus. I feel so protected and loved by Him. My whole outlook on life has been put into perspective. I know whatever the storms and low points, He’s always going to be there!

Getting baptised today has been a huge step for me, not least because of my fear of water, but this has made me determined to show you all the difference Jesus has made in my life, and I want to obey His invitation to be baptised today.