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I Didn't Belong: 21 - Reading The Signposts

…One night I went to bed. I awoke the next morning with the wow factor I had a heart full of what I thought was just a load of happiness, but then as the day went on I realised it was
God. I’m sure people thought I’d gone mad but I couldn’t stop telling people about Him….

After years of law-breaking Ronnie Cook finally gains peace of mind and discovers his true “home’’ in Christianity.

Earlier chapters of Ronnie’s inspirational story can be read by clicking on I Didn’t Belong in the menu on this page. Ronnie’s book is available from www.amazon.co.uk Type his name in the Amazon search box.

Eventually I moved from the Kelvin to a two bedroom flat on the top floor one of the tower blocks on the Netherthorpe estate. I quite enjoyed living there to start with, as people were friendly.

Eventually the novelty wore off, and I came to realize how lonely and socially isolating these flats actually were. People were moving to and from the flats on a regular basis. But me, Mr Clever Cloggs, thought I’ll be fine. Then it dawned on me I didn’t know who my neighbour was, so I decided once again to write my feelings down in the form of a poem:

Who Is My Neighbour?

Child lies sleeping,
Mother sits weeping,
Starvation creeping,
Debt man calling,
Dog snarling,
Windows rattling,
Doors creaking,
Water pipes leaking.
Towering homes,
Blots on the horizon,
Concrete and glass,
Not one blade of grass,
Village on stilts,
Where people wilt,
Neighbours not knowing,
The coming and going,
Who is my neighbour?

I continued to go to Walkley Baptist Church and got to know quite a few people, good honest Christians. For example, two people in particular stood out to me, not excluding all others. They were Jack Deardon, (The last I heard he was preaching at Stonington Community Church Sheffield. What a humble man, full of love for God and Jesus' Love.) and Mike Lee, very much the same, as when others were all discerning, these two never tried to fill me with religion or ask questions about me. They just expressed themselves by being there.

It really is hard to explain - you know when you’re stood in a
crowd and you think you know someone or you can feel that sense, that ‘I do know you’, well I think that is the love of Jesus in them, radiating from them. At first it was scary, but eventually I realised.

One night I went to bed. I awoke the next morning with the wow factor I had a heart full of what I thought was just a load of happiness, but then as the day went on I realised it was
God. I’m sure people thought I’d gone mad but I couldn’t stop telling people about Him.

I decided to get shut of all my past and went to the local police
station with Wendy Bates and gave myself in for a mountain of fines that had mounted up over the years that I had decided not to pay as I believed I would end up back in gaol and have them written off.

This is when another weird thing happened. I was given twenty-eight days, but I was out in ten, all done and dusted. Now I knew of no one that would pay the amount due, so what on earth happened?

After that I felt I could really be at one with the Lord. On the fourteenth of February, 1993, I was baptised at Walkley Baptist Church. ’Buried with him in Baptism, wherein also ye are Risen With Him’ Col. 2:12. Along with a footnote from Jack Deardon, ‘Walk with Christ in the Light of His Light - Leaving Darkness Behind.’ Whenever I feel lost I always remember that passage and remind myself that being with the Lord is a two way street - not all take, but giving as well.

At this time I felt really good so I wrote a little poem with regard to the life I had led and come to terms with my life change for the better through knowing God:


I’ve just been to nowhere,
A place I know so well;
It’s lonely out in nowhere,
Just like being in hell,
A deep dark cavern,
Where people can descend.
The isolation of an empty heart,
Sinking down with twisted mind,
Foreboding place of sanctity,
On the verge of insanity,
So much pain for so many years,
And how I cried so many tears.
Now my pain I’ve learned to face,
In God’s light, in wide open space.
Back from nowhere and I can tell,
It’s lonely out in nowhere,
Just like being in hell.

When I look at what God has done for me personally, I sometimes have a little cry due to the happiness and joy he has brought me.

I now have a loving wife Catherine, someone that actually
loves and actually understands me, and I love her with all my heart. When I first met her I didn’t know it but she is the daughter of Rev P G Cousins of St George’s Church, Cwmparc, Rhonnda Valley. I have three step-children: Gareth, who is in the British Navy, Matthew, a bit of a lad, but he has a decent job and is your typical eighteen-year-old, and Caron, still at school at the moment, being a typical teenager and well behaved, as with her two brothers, all of whom I really do care for.

On my adventure with the Lord I like to feel that no matter
how trivial a thing I have done I like to think that in some way we have contributed to the good of others. If you can make one person happy with just a small gesture, then the day is not wasted.

I have also been cured of Hepatitis C through The Lord’s Covenance by Him giving the brains to someone to create a drug. Not a medication I would recommend but I would sure encourage someone to have it.

I remember being diagnosed with the Hep C; I was absolutely devastated. I was forty years old, had a girlfriend, was studying with the Open University, and wham! My girlfriend left me, the people I told that I was ill and why, they just seemed to just disappear. I used to sit and swear at God and everyone associated with him.

After all, I had devoted all my spare time to helping those less fortunate than most. In the end I just went berserk. I even tried to commit suicide as I was again on my own and truly upset as I may have given it to any number of people. But after a while I soon got my head round it, and thought to myself, ‘Well, Ronnie boy, time to practice what you preach, old lad.’

After a while I realised I was just feeling sorry for myself and got myself together and tended to keep myself to myself, but I did rely heavily on Mike Lee and family, as ever, always there in my time of need. A good family of Christians living a normal life putting their faith in God, a prime example BLESS THEM.

So it really doesn’t matter what has happened in your life, if you stand and be counted and face the truth you are half way there. Just become one with the Lord and remember - prayers and faith in Jesus can conquer all. Sometimes it just takes an alternative route but it can and does happen.

I now have a good circle of friends - Mike Lee and family, the Scotts and many more. They are always there when I need someone and vice versa. I now lead a happy life with my wife of six years Catherine. At present I am attending St John’s Church in Owlerton, Sheffield, and am quite content with Jesus in my life and all I have around me.

Praise the Lord! Being at one with the Lord is wonderful and
fulfilling, but it is still full of trials and tribulations and not always an easy ride. But if you stick with God, as he never leaves you, he will always put up the signposts for you.

Remember God always loves you and will be there for you. Just keep him in your heart.


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