The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life Website Ministry
It's now that I wonder to myself, "How did I come this far in my faith? When did I first recognise
there is a God who loves and cares for me?" I was brought up in Hartcliffe, Bristol, UK. I remember
only going to Sunday School the once when I was a child, and I cried my heart out the best part of
the time because my Mum had to leave me. As a family we never went to church unless it was a
christening, wedding or funeral, but my parents always expressed how important it was to treat
religion with respect, never speak blasphemy and to recognise the real reason for why we celebrate
Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus, and Easter, the sacrificial death of Jesus for our sins. 
The best time ever for me was when my sister, Sharon, was born. My Mum explained everything to
me. I watched her tummy grow and she would let me touch her belly to feel when baby was
kicking. The thought of a baby brother or sister growing inside my Mum was amazing. I would say,
"I hope it's not a boy. I will put him in my toy box!" - but I was only joking. In my heart I was
excited and it was a wonder how the baby got in there! When Sharon was born Mum put her in my
arms and my emotions were all of a jumble. I thought she was beautiful but I was scared stiff I was
going to drop her. Such amazing new life had to have originally come from God. 
As a child I wanted to believe in God, an amazing Being that created wonderful new life. I was
inquisitive and amazed at where new life came from. I liked looking under stones within the rockery
of our garden to find creepy crawlies. I loved furry caterpillars. Sharon would join in this fabulous
game as well. We became very fond of holes filled with spider's webs and we had fun trying to get
the spider out with a stick. We would be scared silly when the spider would drop out and flee!
Mum was great for taking in injured birds. Mum was a softy for taking in strays. I remember the
seagull with the broken wing that Dad helped me take to the PDSA where they had to put him to
sleep. That was sad. Then another time we kept a lost baby bird in a box with a blanket in the
passageway and we tried to feed it worms, etc. I remember when I was very small our dog, Sheba,
gave birth to puppies in our kitchen. I watched her, fascinated, while Mum helped her wash them.
They were adorable and I felt sad when my parents gave them away. Sadly, the same thing
happened when Blackie, our cat, had kittens. While growing up, we always had pets, which my
parents looked after. I was young and flighty so often my heart started in the right place and I
would do everything I could to take care of them, and then my interest would go.
New life and Nature has always been an interest to me. I was always (and still am) contented with
the simple things in life: the seasons, walking through fallen leaves and making footprints in fresh
fallen snow. I liked lying on the grass making pictures out of the clouds, watching the birds fly by.
I'm a bit of a dreamer really. It is because of simple reasons like these that I believe so much in our
When I was about seven years old, my Gran died in hospital. We weren't really close (but I do
remember the big pimple she had on her nose and the fruit trifle she would make at birthday
parties). Mum was very sad. Her death was not pleasant and Mum stayed with her the whole time
it happened. I went to school on the day of the funeral but at playtime I remember standing still,
looking across the playing fields to our bungalow. It was a nice warm day. I was just thinking. Mum
had always said to me that when people die they go to heaven, so I believed she must be there. I
believed heaven was in the clouds and God looked like Neptune with a long white beard and a
When I was in primary school my Nan died and I was devastated. I was very close to her. She lived
with us when I was very young. To keep her independence she moved into a warden control
property in Lawrence Weston. We saw Nan every Sunday. When we visited her flat Nan would give
us Chocolate Dip Dips or trifles if we ate our salads. To me this was always a fantastic deal. In the
summer we took her to coastal places. I would build sand castles and look for dead crabs. We
would have what we called Sandy Chips (chips ate on the sand) and ice cream. Nan was a lot of
fun. It was through my Nan and my Mum that I learnt how to knit, sew and crochet. Nan was very
clever but she made me laugh at how she made buttonholes by putting a knitting needle through
the edge of her knitting. I have many memories of her. I am thankful my parents gave me the
opportunity to say good-bye to her. She was in bed, in what felt like a cold bedroom, and she was
not very well at all. I was alone with her, gave her a kiss and whispered goodbye. Then I cried. 
On the day of her funeral, I can still remember what I was wearing: A grey cord skirt and white
fluffy jumper. I went to school, but I was sad. Mum said we had to be strong for Dad because he
was really sad too. We had my Aunty Francis and her partner, Uncle Dennis, stay over. I was
hooked out of my bedroom and had to sleep with my sister. After that, Sharon would frequently
come and sit in my bed with me and watch TV early in the morning. Uncle Dennis was fun. He made
us laugh sometimes by doing Norman Wisdom impressions shouting out, "Mr Grimsdale!!" I always
kept a picture of Nan up in my bedroom. Sometimes I would talk to her and tell her what's
happening in my life. There's so much I wish I could share with her, now I am settled and married. I
know some day I will see Nan again because now I believe she will be resurrected soon and we will
be with the Lord together.
I was a tomboy as a teenager. I watched a lot of wrestling with my Dad. Dad was a wrestler at
school, hence, because of this we were brought up to watch it. I actually used to get really
involved and on our annual holidays at Butlins we watched live English matches. I would collect
pictures and autographs of my favourite stars. I didn't really go out and socialise much, which I
think Mum was worried about. She encouraged me to go to my local sports centre and it was here I
began my karate training. I did this for six and a half years. I felt it was good for me. It increased
my confidence and gave me a lot of self-discipline, but above all, it gave me a sense of inner
peace. I was a very gentle person because I knew I could look after myself if the need arose, but I
never wanted to have to and I would do anything to avoid confrontation.
As a teenager, I hated myself, and the way I looked with my short hair. I was slightly overweight
and had terrible spots. A typical teenager. Often I was mistaken for a boy. I wanted to grow my
hair long and be pretty. It's here I learnt that beauty comes from within, and I learnt to be a good
person. I had many friends at school. I didn't do as well as I would have liked at my exams. My
GCSE grades were poor and I gave up trying in my final year. I wanted to be an art teacher but I
didn't get the grades I needed to enrol on the necessary college course. I went to the college
anyway just to keep my enrolment appointment and I was told that I might get on the course if
there was enough space, but I would have to wait and see. Waiting didn't feel right and I felt
scared within of having no real future. I knew in my heart I wanted to care and help people. I was
then signed up for a Family and Community Care Course and I felt really happy.
I worked part-time in retail. I hated it and found it depressing. I was always cleaning and
straightening products. After college I worked selling towels and was bored stiff! I felt it was totally
unrewarding. It got to the stage when I had to learn how many threads there are per inch on a
towel, and how big sheets and duvet covers are in centimetres and inches! I had to make a
change. It was then I found myself answering an ad in the Bristol Evening Post. Next thing I knew, I
was convincing the manager of Whitchuch Christian Nursing Home to give me a job. She did and I
felt a sense of real joy. It was at this time I really blossomed and became interested in boyfriends
My first serious boyfriend was Alex. He was one of my karate instructors. He showed up at my
home and said if he came back in an hour or so, would I go out with him. I agreed and after that
we were together two and a half years. We had fun together going to country pubs, playing
snooker/pool and going off to coastal places. He was very active. But the relationship just didn't
feel right. I didn't truly love him. He spent a lot of time out till the early hours and he wanted me to
give up my care assistant work and get an office job with more money - and he drank heavily. I
didn't like it when he was drinking and it was particularly this, among other things, as to why I left
and went home to be with my parents. It wasn't easy, but I was searching for something more. I
wanted a person to share with. I spent a month sleeping on my parent's sofa while they sorted out
the spare bedroom for me to move into.
It was at this time I had a breakdown. My relationship with Mum was really difficult. I was a
different person and I think she struggled with me and had a tough time. I longed for someone to
love me, someone to share with and talk to. I was desperate to be understood. In the end my mind
invented its own world. I became very upset. I cried at night and I was very depressed.
Through Whitchurch Christian Nursing Home, where I was working at the time, I made friends with a
vicar called Gwyn and he showed me how to pray. My first prayers to my heavenly Father were like
shopping lists of requests, but I believed it was a start. Gwyn and I didn't stay friends, and our
friendship became difficult to maintain with the issues I was dealing with at the time, but there
were no hard feelings. He introduced me into how to communicate with my heavenly Father and for
this I am grateful.
It was then I thought to myself that the whole idea of having a religion would be wonderful. I
believed that I could impress my friends, and that my family would be proud of me. I could then
continue my walk in prayer. I decided to go to a church. Hopefully I would meet like-minded friends
there. I didn't really put a lot of thought into which church to try. I just went to our local Anglican
Church, St Andrews. My Nan used to go there and I was christened there as a baby. After a year
of extreme boredom and ritualistic ceremonies, I presumed that I must have to put a bit of effort
into this religion to get anything out of it! So I went to Confirmation classes and learnt the basics
of my faith and read small parts of the Bible. Sadly, when the day came for me to be confirmed,
when the Bishop was dressed up in all his fancy robes, and he blessed me - I felt absolutely
nothing! No real sense of peace, joy, warming flaming fire - nothing! I did feel something, though,
when I accepted the wafer and sipped the wine. I knew what they symbolised; I knew it was the
body and blood of my Saviour, Jesus. This was my first ever communion and, yes, this was a
significant special event in my life. So now I could officially call myself Anglican.
It was a real culture shock when I was asked by Ann, the curate, to go to the Greenbelt festival. I
never knew this kind of Christian event existed. I went with Ann and a friend called David. It was
my first camping experience. It was very cold and the weather at night was awful. My tent
collapsed on top of me, and David's tent was soaking wet. But the music was amazing. I had never
heard modern Christian music before and it was here I bought my first Christian CD by a band called
Phatfish. It was great to see so many young people. I had the belief that all Christians were older
people and that I must be crazy. It meant a lot to me to know there were other young believers
Searching for the Spiritual Path
During my time at St Andrews I met some dear friends. Jane made me feel very welcome. She was
a bit older than me. I was inspired by her and admired her greatly. She lived alone in her own
house. She had had a motorbike accident where she was in a coma for sometime. She had to learn
to do everything again - walking and talking - everything. Being friends with her really put my own
trials into perspective. She moved to Gloucester to a smaller place where people were able to look
after her needs. We lost touch after that, which is a shame.
I then felt the desire to join the choir. I thought I had a good voice. I have since found out the
truth! It was only a small choir, but good fun. The other members were all old enough to be my
grandparents! They were all good to me, though, and I enjoyed singing with them. I found singing
hymns was a great way to sincerely communicate with the Father. I could sing with emotion and
spirit, depending on the style of music. I loved gospel music, and I think genuine gospel singers
sing passionately with all their hearts.
During this time, I developed an interest in natural health, crystal healing and Buddhist meditation.
I read many books, bought crystals, listened to atmospheric music and went to a Buddhist dojo to
learn how to meditate properly. I tried clearing my mind and using mantras like in the Hindu religion.
I got so far into this that, while meditating, I believed I was being told to do things from a higher
being and would do it. When I realised it could be Satan talking to me instead, I was scared.
It was about this time, when I was in my early twenties, that I got involved with some very
unsavoury characters. These people were very worldly and fleshly. They had travelled and seen
the world; they were into the New Age religion and read sexually explicit literature, some of which
was very perverted (which now makes me feel sick at the thought of it). They were sexually 'free'
with their bodies, and they mixed with homosexuals, one had been in prison; they drank alcohol
heavily and partied hard, clubbing to the early hours. It was when one girlfriend began to socialise
with drug addicts that I knew this way of life had gone far enough, and I had to make changes.
About this time, when I was twenty-four years old, I met my husband, Gerry. He was filled to the
brim with passion for the Lord, and he was not afraid to share it. At first I was scared of this, but
found him very handsome! But as time went on, our friendship grew. I was very young and naïve,
so he became very protective. He was (and is) caring and loving, but it developed into a special
kind of love. We had, and are still having, long conversations about my faith and he helped me
back on the right track. Now we are very happily married. I found my soul mate - and the true
Gerry suffers with Myalgic Encephalomyalitis. Life can be very difficult for him. He is very bright and
gifted but frustrated because he is unable to physically and mentally do things he would like. M.E
(also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other 'umbrella' names) is a mysterious illness and
it's not widely recognised, though it is officially termed a neurological disorder, and some of the
symptoms mirror other health problems. I believe what I see and I can see when Gerry is struggling
and not well. There are many conflicting reports about M.E. and how to manage it, but Gerry
knows the only way to manage it is to listen to his own body. There are many symptoms and the
list is endless. Gerry suffers from awful migraine type headaches and dizziness, which can wipe him
out for days. He also suffers with muscle and nerve pain especially in his back, legs, neck and
shoulders, and his eyes are very weak and often hurt like they are being bruised after just spending
a short period of time reading, or writing on the computer.
He also has digestive problems so he has to watch his diet and of course there is the debilitating
exhaustion and infirmity, which, at its worst, can be virtually paralysing. It's horrible to see Gerry
on a really bad day when he's laid out in the chair or bed. Occasionally, I've even had to feed him.
At these times I feel very scared. Gerry feels scared too as this is often accompanied by breathing
difficulties. We are scared because we don't know how bad relapses like this will get and he may
never recover. We both pray or I read a chapter of scripture and we put our trust totally in the
Lord. This gives us confidence in my abilities to take care of him, and it gives us strength and
comfort. Gerry has to learn to pace himself for he often tries to do too much and then suffers for
Gerry runs a fellowship meeting at our home, attended by a few dear friends, where he does some
teaching. Quite often on these days I witness many miracles. I have known Gerry on a virtual
collapse where he's so unwell on the day of our meeting I am close to cancelling it. But when we
begin, he is teaching with energy, passion and zeal. 
Gerry and I have had some really special times together when God gives us the grace to venture
out into the world (I say 'venture out' because Gerry doesn't go out much, though at present, I
work full-time for a charity called Age Concern ). We have had amazing drives in the country,
watching for wildlife. I remember one evening I felt we were really privileged to sit in a field and
watch lots of bats come out just as the sun was beginning to set. They were flying around our
heads, their silhouettes standing out against the sky. I thought the whole experience was
wonderful. We love to look out for birds of prey and beautiful coloured garden birds. We now have
a birdhouse in our garden. I bought a bird book on holiday once so we can identify the birds we
see in our garden and on our holidays. Birds are beautiful creatures. I am praying some will feel
safe enough to nest in our garden. It is a bit sad though because at present we do have a problem
with cats, but I will continue to hope that our garden will become a safe sanctuary for birds.
One of my favourite places we have visited is Chew Valley Lake, just outside Bristol. This is
because, in the summer, the evening sun spreads its warm fingers over the lake and the sky,
shining through the soft white clouds. This reminds me of God's awesome power and glory. I feel
really at peace there and we can just be quiet. There are lots of wildlife, dragonflies and lots of
birds, etc, to watch. It was across the lake at Woodford Lodge that we got engaged. What a
perfect place to pick under God's covering. Gerry told me he wanted us to be betrothed and he
gave me a beautiful sparkly topaz engagement ring. I believe God brought Gerry and me together,
and our marriage is blessed.
Enjoying sunsets are a God-given pleasure both Gerry and I share. We love to watch the sun go
down and look at all the different colours in the sky. Gerry has tried to capture the experience on
camera but these things never look as amazing as they did when you are there taking in the
moment. Thank God for His creation.
Thoughts about Faith
I wonder to myself quite often, "What else do I believe about my faith." I know I do not believe in
Christian tithing. I don't believe the Lord wants us to struggle to make ends meet just to give a
church a tenth of our earnings. Let's think about this for a moment. Say I was heavily in debt with
bailiffs on my doorstep and court costs coming through the door. If I gave a tenth of my wages to
my local church, would it all go away and then everything would be ok? Or say I was an older
person in my nineties on just a state pension struggling to make ends meet and pay for the
heating, would paying a tenth of that pension make things better? I find that hard to believe. I
think I would be struggling more and I know my money is not going to God, it's going to man. I
believe we should make sacrifices to God, yes, but that doesn't mean that our giving should be
confined to supporting a stone building or even fattening up a particular ministry. We believe God is
love and He is everywhere, and we enjoy giving to, and helping, people as His Spirit leads.
During this writing I have talked a lot about the heavens, but what are my thoughts on Hell? Hell
has always sounded such a horrific place. I have always struggled with the belief that
non-believers will suffer eternal torment. I can't be at peace and believe that my loved ones, who
have not yet found Christ, will suffer great pain and suffering for eternity in a place of blazing fire!
I listened to a sermon once at St Andrews church, which was given by a student and he talked the
whole time about Hell. I felt very scared, sad and distressed. I was questioning my own faith as to
whether it was strong enough, and that of my friends and family, to save us from eternity in Hell. I
believe there will be a judgement and we will all have to stand before the Lord and answer for our
actions during this lifetime, yet I believe that ultimately God will save and reconcile all to Himself.
Gerry has written many articles showing the scriptural basis for this belief.
I do, however, at this time, have a keen interest in prayer and fasting. I find it very hard to go
without food for long periods, but once I tried giving up a hot drink that I really liked for a whole
day, and half way through that day I believe God really spoke to me and answered my prayers. He
helped me to be at peace and remember that I am not alone with my trials and difficult times. It's a
start anyway. God can make us see things clearly. I was full of joy for the rest of the day. Prayer
can sometimes be difficult. It can be difficult to focus. I believe fasting helped me to focus on
what really mattered, and to communicate with my heavenly Father. 
On reading this you may not actually realise that I (we) do not attend church. I struggle greatly
listening to preachers and teachers speak about things which I know in my heart is wrong. It
causes me upset to see other Christians in pain because they desperately want the rest of their
family to come to the Lord and be saved from Hell by attending a church. I have seen one lady in
tears over this and I really wanted to share my faith with her, but I knew that my belief in God
saving all was not welcome. Already I enjoy the fellowship group we have every three weeks and I
get a chance to share with other Christians and I really enjoy this. I read the Bible to Gerry quite
often and he explains and teaches passages of scripture to me. I believe God is everywhere and
we do not have to be in a stone building to be with Him. I enjoy my quiet prayer times with my
heavenly Father at home. I feel closer to Him there than I ever have done in a church. I love to
praise and worship my heavenly Father. We have lots of music that we can listen and sing along
to. I am happy with this.
I have watched many healing services on channels like God TV where people claim to be healers
(for example, Benny Hinn) and I just think they are great at acting. It appears to me that, for the
most part, they build up an emotional atmosphere and then they 'hypnotise' the audience to
believe that they will be healed. I have seen this view highlighted on recent documentaries. They
often have a team of people who research into the audience so the healer knows just the right
things to say. I am not saying all Christian healing ministries do this or that God doesn't heal people
at all. Yet I am a strong believer in mind-over-matter and the brain is extremely powerful, so if you
'will' yourself hard enough to do something, you will probably do it. Yet if someone is very ill or
disabled and through the power of suggestion and manipulation they force themselves to be well
(for example, walking on bad legs) this may lead to further pain and injury. When Jesus healed
someone they were miraculously healed immediately - no tricks, no power of the mind, no loud
motivational preaching. For more information, Gerry has some good articles on healing on this
Anyhow, that's just a few of my thoughts. When it comes to reading the Bible, I now read and
study chapters at a time instead of just a few verses. I no longer find the Bible boring, as I once
did, for now I know it is God speaking to me through it and it gives me great comfort and direction.
It still surprises me how the Bible touches on lots of interesting subjects that are relevant to life in
general. When I pray I experience a picture in my minds eye that is very real and vivid of Jesus and
his death, the sacrifice He made for me - and for you. My belief in God is now more a real living
faith, not just a religion.
Copyright © Angela Watts, February 2006; 2012
Originally published Feb. 2006,
w/endnotes Feb. 2012
1 An amazing thing occurred when my mum retired. She joined a women’s meeting at her local
Methodist Church. She tells me she enjoys the little service they have and the singing of hymns. So
I felt led to give her a Bible. I wasn’t sure if she would actually read any of it or whether it would
just gather dust on the bookshelf. But recently I was talking to her about how important I felt
reading the Bible was for Christians and she told me she reads passages sometimes but not as much
as me. I am thrilled that she even bothers to try.
2 My sister Sharon and I still have a wonderful relationship. She is in her late 20’s and I am in my
mid 30’s. We spend time together shopping and going out for lunch. Sharon is not into Christianity
but she respects my point of view and can be very inquisitive. One time she actually asked me the
story of the Exodus and I was in my element telling her.
3 One of my main aims in life was for my Nan to see me settled and happy. I longed for her to be at
my wedding when I was older, but she was too poorly, and for me to know she was suffering would
be a heartbreak. She died many years before I was to get married. Nan would have loved Gerry very
much. Obviously Nan could never be replaced, but I did get to know Gerry’s Gran, Jenny, who was
quite old-fashioned, with lots of stories to tell of the old days in Wales. There was always tea and
cake. God provides where there is a need and for a season I needed to know Jenny, Gerry’s Gran.
Sadly, she died a few years ago in 2008, aged 96, but she was able to attend our wedding!
4 For a number of different reasons we no longer hold the meeting. Hopefully this will change in the
not so distant future.
5 Since November 2007 I have been working at a local hospital as a nursing assistant. I had a lot of
personal issues and health problems that caused me to resign from Age Concern without another job
to go to. This was very scary, but within two months God provided, and I had a new job back in the
caring profession, which I have always loved.
6 I think now that God wants us to treat our bodies like temples, after all our bodies are gifts and
we should not be neglectful of them, feeding them with alcohol, drugs, over-eating and excess use
of stimulants like tea, coffee and cigarettes. I hope I do not sound judgemental, but I really believe
to live a healthy life gives us a much more fulfilling spiritual life.
Endnotes: Updated February 2012