Brought up as a Christian, Laurie Pointing lost his way before finding it again.
I was born in 1936, the youngest of 10 children. We had loving, caring Catholic parents. I grew up in a rural area in southern Queensland where my mother and father worked mixed farms on a share basis.
My schooling commenced when I was six years of age and ended when I was 13. Life was rather basic, with no telephone, no electricity and no sewerage. Transport was our horse and sulky.
My mother had been a ward of the state and from 13 to 18 years was placed in the care of Christian people who instructed her in the Roman Catholic faith. My mum met my father, the son of English migrants who belonged to the Church of England. Dad converted to Catholicism prior to their marriage, and both faithfully practised their religion until their death and had an unshakeable faith and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not recall ever questioning the fact that there is a God and I found it natural to be a believer in Christ.
As a boy on the farm I suffered in silence from nervousness and an inability to feel comfortable in the company of others and it was extremely difficult for me to create a relationship with older members of the family. I am happy to report that before any member of my family passed away the 10 of us had developed a wonderful family relationship.
In 1949 my parents retired from the farm to the city of Ipswich, owing to their failing health. I could not adjust to city life and, when I was 15, obtained employment as a station hand on a property in the Taroom district in the Dawson River country, where I remained for the next seven years.
During that time I worked and drank alcohol with many a heavy drinker, and my behaviour when intoxicated was not what should have been expected of ‘good Christian’ young man. The consumption of alcohol took an immediate effect on my system and I could not guarantee my behaviour.
I became a policeman and served as a member of the Queensland Police Force for 35 years. In my junior days the force had a heavy drinking culture and I became part of that culture.
During the month of January 1974 I realised that I was heading down the road of no return so made the best decision I have ever made when I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Apart from one lapse of two days in November 1983, I have maintained a close relationship with AA and been alcohol-free ever since.
At the height of my alcoholism I disregarded regular attendance at church services. I never lost my faith in God; however daily prayers disappeared from my regular routine.
I loved the spiritual aspect of the AA programme and embraced steps two and three. I came to believe that a power greater than myself could return me to sanity (step 2) and (step 3) made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understood him, and my spiritual life returned.
My wife Irene is a soldier at Gympie Corps (church) and I now attend Sunday services with her on a regular basis. I connect with God when waking each morning and travel with him throughout the day, thanking him for his blessing prior to retiring each night.
I am a committed Christian and experience deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since walking closer with God my life has changed dramatically for the better and faith is my cornerstone as I walk through life on a daily basis.