Beth Black remembers seeing an angel beside her bed when she was just four years old, but it was only in her sixties that she fully understood the meaning of it.
Growing up she felt deep dislike and rejection from her mother and bitter jealously from her older sister, who once tried to kill her by leaving her out in the ocean before she had learnt to swim. Beth survived by floating on her back until she was rescued.
This harsh upbringing caused her to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts and to grow into a proud, independent and prickly adult who ran from confrontation and never asked for help.
"Leave me alone," was my motto, Beth recalls.
Although Beth went to Sunday school as a child and church all her life and had felt the nearness of God, often speaking to Him; it was only when she moved churches in 2010 that she realised that Jesus wanted to be so much more than just a comforting presence in her life.
She realised at that point that she needed to repent (turn away from) her old self-reliant and proud self, forgive others for what they had done to her, and receive the free salvation offered through Jesus's death on the cross.
She did this and was also baptised (immersed in water) as a public declaration that the old Beth was dead and she was a new Beth, a follower of Christ.
"I knew Jesus from a small child but never realised what He could do for me," she says in wonder. "Now I am born again. God is good. He never gave up on me."
Beth says she is now peaceful, joyful, helpful and able to reach out to others.
She has been single her whole life, but she says it is by choice. "I have God's love, I don't need the love of a man.
"God is my foundation, my life, my all. I live for Him every day," Beth declares.•