My depression and darkness went straight away

Veronica Lee came to the Chanctonbury church office to book her grave plot. She left the office having found life!

I was born in 1948 just after the Second World War into a Christian family and we lived at the beautiful ‘Highden’ Estate in Washington where my beloved father Cecil worked. He served in Burma during the war and, by the grace of God, he survived to come home to my mother Jean, and my brothers and my sister. Their childhood was very different to mine because of the hardships caused by the war and the horrors that Dad witnessed and endured in the jungle of Burma.

My childhood was lovely – full of love and happy things, and I loved the animals we had so much, the garden – just everything. And I was definitely a Daddy’s girl, and he and Mum taught me so much, but “love” was the most important thing.

At 5, I went to Washington Primary School and of course our beautiful Washington Church. I was in the school choir and can remember the services we did for Christmas and Easter. We always went to Evensong and then I started Sunday School. Sometimes, I would misbehave in Church as then, in those days, you had to be so quiet and not move! – Oh how church has wonderfully changed!

I was married there and my son was christened there as well. My Mum and Dad are laid to rest in the Orchard Church Yard; as I will be when my time comes. Washington and our beautiful Church is where my heart is and the continuous love for my sweet Lord Jesus. He is my true Saviour. He has brought me through the most darkest traumas I have been through. If I had not had my faith in my Lord Jesus, I would have been a complete wreck! His love, compassion, guidance and grace have been with me always. I love Him with my whole heart, soul, body and mind.

Having got married and moved to Thakeham, after many years of trials, tribulations and darkness – and then a few more upsets along the way – Jesus, without me knowing or even realising, guided me back to Washington. After an upset on holiday in September 2018, I was feeling very sad and lonely, I had a list of key things I had to do (you know that list, you keep moving about and thinking ‘oh I won’t do that yet!’). Well now I was in the right mood! Number 1 on the list was to see the Rector and secure my ‘plot’ in the churchyard next to my beloved Mum and Dad. So, I rang the church office, expecting to speak to the Rector, but I spoke to Tabitha [former administrator for weddings, funerals and baptisms], so I explained what I wanted, and she made an appointment for me to go along and have a chat.

It was Tuesday 9 October when I walked into the church office. Through all of the talking, I was crying, laughing and saying ‘sorry’ because I was so emotional, and it was good to be able to get everything out and to be comforted by Tabitha.

Eventually, we filled in the form and, still crying and with lots of assurance and hugs from Tabitha, I calmed down a bit. Then other members of the staff team appeared and they all prayed for me. I was still crying but happy spiritual tears and I felt fantastic and about 10 ft tall! In fact, I didn’t want to leave this spiritual love that was in the office. Eventually, I had to go and I was asked if I would like to come to the Healing Centre at Ashington Church on the following Saturday. Of course, I went and what fantastic healing I had that day! I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. My depression and darkness went straight away, it was wonderful. And then, the next Sunday I went to Washington Church. How wonderful it was to worship again with a congregation and sing in my beautiful Church, and to meet Margaret (Newman) Muddle again, who was my sister’s friend when we were all young children.

I decided I would like to be Confirmed so that I could feel as close as I can to Jesus. I wanted to confirm my deep love and faith to our Lord Jesus and be complete and as one with Him. When taking Holy Communion, I feel I am touching His heart, kneeling at His feet and touching His robes and feeling completely fulfilled with His Holy Spirit and at peace. I have always loved Jesus and He always held me in His arms, always held my hand and guided me through my life and He has always loved me. I never feel alone. The feeling I had after being Confirmed is that I am as close as I can be to Jesus, just like the beautiful stained-glass window in Washington Church. I feel full of His love, compassion and grace, full of His Holy Spirit, totally complete.

This has changed my lonely life. I now have a lovely church family and friends and my new church has changed since my childhood; full of joy, bursting at the seams with young, vibrant people who will carry the worship on to new dimensions through the decades to come! Praise be to God!

In our darkest moments without us knowing or realising, Jesus is there, we are all surrounded by His Holy Spirit – Jesus is with us forever. Jesus said, ‘I am always with you’.This is my story of how much I love Jesus.

I pray blessings on you as you read this

Veronica Lee lives in Pulborough and worships every Sunday at Washington Church. Veronica still comes every month to Chanctonbury Healing Centre for prayer for herself and for those she loves.