"Forty Years"

How Jesus Helped Me with Stuttering - A Poem

One foggy day in Manchester
In 1965, 
I was born, an only child,
My parents’ joy and pride.

As I grew I soon began
To learn to talk and play;
Not understanding why sometimes
I found words hard to say.

I went to church and learn’t about
The Bible, God and prayer.
It didn’t mean that much to me,
For me, God was just - there!

My childhood/teenage years were
By stuttering and fear.
Frustration grew, and I withdrew,
Too scared to speak and share.

At age fourteen I came to know
Jesus as Lord and friend.
He gave me strength and hope that one day
All the fear might end.

From that time on I trusted Him
That He knew best for me.
But still the years went on and on
No sign of being free.

Yet sometimes things would happen
When I’d know God’s love so near.
In grief, financial hardship,
He would make the pathway clear.

Then came the day five years ago,
The fears began to melt.
I joined the McGuire Programme
And learn’t to speak - using a belt :-)

In just four days my life turned round,
I learn’t a new technique;
A different way to breathe and think,
At last, I now could speak!

I saw this as God’s gift;
I was starting to be free.
Reading stories to my children
And expressing the ‘real me.’

And so began the process 
Of addressing all the fears;
Of changing thoughts and feelings
That I’d carried round for years!

I thank God for the people
Who support/encourage me.
Without their help and insight
I don’t know where I would be.

Today I still face challenges
But I know God’s strength and care.
In forty years I’ve come to know
That He is always there!

Hazel Percy 2005
    United Kingdom

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