Janet has been following Jesus for more than fifty years! She’s the longest-standing member at Hambro Road church. We asked her about how God has helped her through the years.
HRBC: Have you lived in Streatham all your life?
Janet: I was in Eastbourne until I was 8. I remember walking in the hills and looking at all the flowers down there. But after that, we moved to London, as Dad’s work on the railways brought us here, and we had to cope with a much more restricted life when WW2 came.
HRBC: What’s changed most about London?
Janet: The people! There’s so many different nationalities represented here – the world’s on our doorstep.
HRBC: So change has been for the better?
Janet: God brings about change. God always knows what he’s doing, and it doesn’t have to worry us.
HRBC: When did you start believing these things about God yourself?
Janet: I’ve always believed in God. We went to church as a family and had prayers around the meal table. When the war came, we were praying a lot more than that! It made me feel safe, even though I was really terrified on a couple of particular occasions.
I started working at Barnados and went to the meetings of what’s now called the Nurses’ Christian Fellowship. I thought I believed everything that was said there, until I was asked to give my story of what God had done for me, and realised I couldn’t. I knew there was something missing – that I didn’t have that real relationship with God.
It was only after that when I started to understand the love God had for me. I trusted him for myself and was then able to say how he had forgiven me.
HRBC: You’re a single lady. Has that been hard to cope with? Do you feel resentful to God about it?
Janet: In truth, I was, sometimes, particularly after my stepmum died. I thought that God ought to have given me a husband to comfort me. But a short while afterwards, I read this verse from the Bible: ‘His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.’ I knew that God was being my comforter.
HRBC: You’re an older lady. Do you often think about the end of life?
Janet: I pray that I’ll be ready. Life doesn’t get easier just because you’re older. I’ve discovered more and more how much I need God’s forgiveness. But he’s proved that he’s the best friend to have. He remembers me now and for ever.