Sia’s Story

If you want to talk to God, run an Ultra

At around 9 years old, I left the poorest part of Thailand and spent the rest of my upbringing in Sweden. My Swedish step-dad, an Atheist and my mum, a Buddhist, both used to say, “you don’t need to attend church or temple to do good.” One of the boarding schools I attended was a religious school. That’s where my curiosity for Christianity started.

 As I grew, I had the privilege of travelling worldwide and attending schools in Sweden, Germany, and Greece. Every time I saw a church worldwide, I would go inside the building and hoped no one could see through me that I didn’t know how to read a Bible, didn’t know how to pray, that I wasn’t Christian, I felt like a fraud! 

 It was also during my upbringing in Sweden that I discovered the pleasure of running. It didn’t matter if it was stormy, bucketing down with rain and hail; I was out running, sometimes twice a day! One day I saw a quote,” If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. If you want to talk to God, run an Ultra”, so I did!

 I would run to the point where my body was in so much pain, and I started to cry. I would sometimes be overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounded me, yet I also felt a mix of other emotions: loneliness, guilt, and sadness. 

 On one such run in 2017, I was at the end of myself physically when I had an experience where I could feel a hand laid on my head, comforting, encouraging, and protecting.

I was able to collect myself and begin to run again. With each step that followed, I felt new, strong, and felt that everything has been forgiven. 

 I became obsessed chasing the presence of this unknown person, He was unknown but at the same time He was so familiar. The runs I embarked on become longer, harder and riskier. I thought it was through suffering that I could connect with “this presence”, this “higher power”.

Throughout the races I often experienced “this hand” this supernatural presence again until one day I could feel it no longer. For days after that race, I felt empty, deflated, and confused. I lost my passion for running and felt lost for direction…

 I met Charlene through work earlier this year. One day as we talked, she prayed for me in the midst of a busy street. She invited me to come to the church and suggested Alpha.

 The night we spoke about the Holy Spirit at Alpha was the day I felt I found the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle of my life. I prayed for Jesus to come into my life. The moment I lead the prayer with my two girls was the proudest moment I have ever experienced all my life. I have found a path in life with my girls.  I felt empowered, liberated, and free!

 Looking back at my life I feel that it has been almost like learning how to drive a manual car and since joining Alpha and LIFE, I finally mastered that second gear.

 Now I’m feeling rather lazy since I can talk to God anytime, even while sitting on my sofa at home! I do sometimes wonder how many more people out there who are still searching?

I pray their search will not be as long & painful as mine!