By Chris Eyte
A suicide and abuse survivor asked 'Why?' when she saw a depiction of the suffering of Jesus on the cross.
Maz Chapman, now aged 36, from Littlehampton in West Sussex, was at a Good Friday church service at the time, looking at a slide show of the crucifixion. Rock singer Bryan Adam's famous song, 'Everything I do, I do it for you' was playing in the background.
The presentation showed Jesus stripped naked, flogged, carrying a huge, heavy cross and bleeding with tears after a crown of thorns was pushed into His head.
Maz said: "I looked up into the screen at the exact moment that there was a close-up of the pain on Jesus' face as He was dying. And the words, 'I do it for you' just said it all. The attention, love and warmth that I so desperately needed from people was there in those eyes.
"It was like there was no one else in the room. Jesus had died for me, so I would be free from my own hell, free from evil and free to live in heaven."
That moment of faith marked a change in direction for Maz whose life was 'horrible' growing up. She had previously suffered 'abuse mentally, physically and in other ways' as a youngster at the hands of someone she trusted. To make it worse, thugs at school picked on the young girl and bullied her.
"I had no one at home to turn to and few friends I could talk to at school," added Maz. "I became paranoid, hateful, and self-harmed a lot. Alcohol and cigarettes were great company. By the time I finished secondary school, I had attempted suicide a few times. It was all quite nasty."
Maz went back to university in London after her encounter with the reality of Jesus and told a Christian friend, "I get it now". She got involved with a local church in the city and spent the next couple of years throwing off the negative self-image she had accepted when a child.
She added: "I learned to develop real relationships and friendships, learning to trust and become a good friend. I also got more involved in the church and joined ministry groups, wanting to serve God, wanting other people to have this amazing relationship!"
London provided a romantic backdrop for Maz to meet her future husband Warren. The couple dated, fell in love, got married and then moved back to Sussex. The busy mum was also baptised on Good Friday, 2010 – the exact date she had become a Christian 12 years before.
Maz said: "We try our best for our family, and encourage the children to pray and be open with people about their faith. There is still a lot to learn about the wonders of our Lord Jesus."
Living as a Christian does not make you a superhero, according to Maz. There are still everyday challenges which need to be faced.
"I have my daily struggles," she said. "I make mistakes, but we also have a lot of fun and laughter. No matter what - I am living in the security of the love and salvation of Jesus Christ."•