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I Didn't Belong: Chapter Nineteen - Changes

…It was during that period of my life I think God shone a light on me for a good, honest, full-blooded Christian to seek out, I think of it as my own personal homing device for someone to find…

A young girl full of confidence and charm shows up in Ronnie Cook’s troubled life with the words “Hi. My name’s Nicki and God sent me.”

Ronnie’s wonderful life story, I Didn’t Belong, charts his turbulent voyage from darkness into light. The inspirational book is available from www.amazon.co.uk Type Ronnie’s name in the Amazon search box.

It was during that period of my life I think God shone a light on me for a good, honest, full-blooded Christian to seek out, I think of it as my own personal homing device for someone to find. The following day I was sat in the tenants’ association office feeling a bit guilty about what I had done. I was all confused, as I had promised God one thing and done the other.

Then into the office bounced this young slip of a girl, full of confidence and charm. She literally lit up the dismal room on the dismal complex. She said, “Hi. My name’s Nicki and God sent me.”

My initial thought was, ‘Well! This is a new one.’

Then she said, “I belong to Walkley Baptist Church and I am starting a children’s club. Would it be OK if went for a walk around the flats to see if anyone would be interested?”

I replied, “Of course, but you want to be careful, as it isn’t the
safest place for a young girl to go wondering about by herself.” (Especially at that time when most of the decent folk had moved due to it being demolished.)

Then she said, “I’ll be OK because I have God taking care of me.”

So I thought, ‘Fair enough, let God look after you then.’ I knew there were one or two people on the estate with various health problems, but I can honestly say it was the first time I had heard that one.

At the time I was thinking, ‘What a nutter!’ But at the same time I thought, ‘She really has something about her, as I know I wouldn’t do what she was doing if I was a girl.’ But I was also thinking, ‘I wouldn’t mind a bit of her confidence.’

Then it struck me like a kick in the teeth from an old Donkey. This is it. WOW. He has sent me an Angel.

I just burst out laughing, thinking, ‘Well, this is a new situation to be in. How on earth can I tell people about this one? ’Cause I knew damn well that nobody would believe me and think I had gone mad.

That is when Micky Holland walked in the office and said, “Whatever it is you’re on, I wouldn’t mind a bit of,” ‘cause I told him I couldn’t tell him.

And all of a sudden the word got round that I had some drugs! But no one would believe me I hadn’t. I had become the man that could get drugs when nobody else could. I even had a young women offer me her services for drugs. People don’t believe me, but I told her to get lost.

Nicki then started to come to the Kelvin more often, so I started asking a few questions about God, all the time trying to trip her up. But each question I asked she had the answer for. I used to listen to her answers then go home and think about it. But they were so plausible and convincing I had no option but to believe them. To tell you the truth I couldn’t wait for her to come around again to find out more.

One day whilst having a cigarette before I went to see Jason (He’s a good man, always got time for you and helpful when possible.), I got talking to a chap. He said,“If you have got religion, you have no intelligence. If you have intelligence you won’t have religion.”

Now this got me confused a bit, as how has this girl gone to university and still believes in God? So I thought I would go along with it, as I knew I was intelligent and was interested in God, as He had kept his word so he couldn’t be that bad. And considering I had never seen Him, that made it more interesting.

One night I had gone out for a few pints as I was all confused and didn’t know who to talk to about God and ended up drinking with Tony Rodgers. On the way home someone started a fight and I ended up with some damage to my middle finger on my left hand.

The next day Nicki came to the Kelvin with a man I now know to be Mr John Fleetcroft. I explained to them what had happened to my finger and he put an improvised splint on it for me. I remember thinking, ‘That's good,’ as he was genuinely concerned about it.

Eventually I started to read the Bible, not as if it was a book but as if it was some sacred script I had just found - something like trying to decipher a code, nice and steady so I didn’t miss anything.

Eventually! Through Nicki’s sheer persistence, I went to Walkley Baptist Church. I made every excuse possible not to, including the one where I was frightened that I would melt as I walked through the doors, and the one, ‘I don’t belong there; that’s where rich people go.’ But, I have since found that a vast majority of people within the Church are rich (but only in God’s love, not necessarily financially). When I first went I felt scared as this was a new situation for me.

However, eventually I got to know a few people. The majority were OK. I know we shouldn’t judge,but sometimes personalities clash etc. After that first meeting at Walkley I decided if I was to fit in there OK, I would have to give up everything wrong I was involved with. But this had a price, when you live like I did, if you just stop like I decided to, people become suspicious, thinking you’re up to no good and view you with suspicion and not trust you.

But - here’s a good one - I would be OK ’cause I’ve got God on my side. And I told everyone that came to my door. Nicki kept popping round to see me on occasion to make sure I was all right. It was really nice to know that someone cared besides God. I explained to Nicki that I was having difficulty keeping off drink and drugs and the loneliness was killing me! She gave me the best advice I could have been given at that moment of time. “When you’re feeling like any of these, pick up your Bible and read it for a while.” I did quite often for quite a while, believe me.

Eventually I decided to have a look at these miracles I kept hearing about that Jesus had performed or that God had done. After a few months I said to Nicki, “Some of these are bit hard to believe.”

Do you know what her answer was! “When did you last have a pint or take drugs or feel lonely?” Well! What more can I add on the matter of miracles? I have found in past years that miracles don’t just always happen when you want them to. Sometimes they are given by what I call signposts that lead you to the solution. Just make sure you read the signposts correctly ’cause if you mess up you can’t go blaming God or Jesus, as you will find afterwards if you had done this or that God had signposted for you, you wouldn’t have ended up in the situation you had. Sorry I diverted.


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