A New Creature

Céline - Coffs harbour, Australia

Photo of Céline

Hi ! I’m Céline, a French Australian mum living in Coffs Harbour.

When I was 21, I wasn’t the happy and confident woman people now know, but a young lady confused about her own purpose and life’s meaning. Death, the lack of justice around me and why we live such a short time on earth were questions that made me anxious and unsettled.

I took the turn of studying contemporary art in hope to get some of these questions answered and do something meaningful with the talents that had been given to me.

However on the contrary I got swept away by the art movement of the time and did well in developing a critical spirit that’s hungry for transcendance and intellectual highs. In other words I was getting deaper into my own miserable selfish state by remanipulating the dirt of this world and making the experience of pain the center of my art work.

That is, until one morning I woke up with one stubborn idea that sprung up in my mind: to go to the furthest end of the earth. That place was New Zealand. I made a plan to go and stay there. A few months later, I landed in Wellington on a working-holiday visa and became an au-pair girl for a family. My hopes were high.

A few weeks later, to my surprise, I was busy rebuilding the same kind of life I was living in France, I pierced my skin, was planning to get tatooed and was hanging out with people that were just as lost and selfish as myself. I had enough. Why so much emptiness in that world?

But one day as I was erring on the streets, one young chap bumped into me and started to blabber on about some mysterious thing. As I was trying to politely escape, a French man came as well and we started chatting. He was very friendly, therefore I accepted his offer to meet again with his friends. To my surprise he even called me to invite me to spend the weekend with his family. There was a little group of people and as it turned out they all had something which I found very interresting: spirituality. No idea did I have that they were a church, for I wasn’t looking for religion. But they were telling me about God, about the power and about the transfomation in one’s life when the Holy Spirit comes in to dwell! I had never heard about these amazing news. I come from a Catholic country, therefore religion to me had a certain appearance which didn’t look as sincere and lively as what was now presented to me! They showed me the Bible, and how God comes near when we call upon Him. I left these people crying my eyes out. I was moved.

The following Tuesday, the Frenchman, Sam, called me and asked me straight out if I wanted to be baptised and receive this Holy Spirit. I neither reflected nor hesitated, and said yes. When Sam also impressed on me the need to give up my worldly interrests in order to grow in Christ, I did not hesitate. Boyfriends, cigarettes and the unwholesome world of art were things I was ready to exchange for a pure life in Christ.

And praise the Lord, He has filled me with His Spirit and given me a tongue to worship Him in truth and Spirit. The joy of being free of burden is something to experience for oneself! The “incorruptible man of the heart” has grown in me now for the last 14 years and I’m still filled with wonder about God’s love and righteousness every day.