A new beginning…

Finding my feet in living for Jesus.

My Testimony

I was brought up going to church most weeks with my family. My sisters and I were christened as babies, we went to Sunday School as kids and were confirmed when we were 12. It was what we did. It was expected of us, and I never questioned it. Church was about having to get dressed in nice clothes on a Sunday, being bored listening to long complicated prayers I didn’t understand and was never something that was mentioned for the rest of the week.

When I was at 6th Form, I was desperate to get into Medical School. I had an offer from Liverpool University, and I remember praying pretty much every night over the summer between taking my exams and getting my results, praying that I would get the grades to get in. When I got my results and I hadn’t got my place, I figured, well then, there can’t be a God, because he has let me fail at the one thing I really, really wanted.

After re-sitting my exams, I started Medical School here in Brighton a year later and wasn’t very happy in my first 2 years. I put so much pressure on myself to do well that I made myself ill, particularly towards the end of 1st year. I felt very lost. My life was defined by how well I did in my exams, how many friends I had and how others thought of me. But I never felt that I quite fitted in, I felt like I was missing something.

At the beginning of my 3rd year, I was chatting to a guy on my course, the subject of church came up and he suggested I came to BH (Bishop Hannington, a church) to try it out.

A couple of weeks later I braved it. I was hoping that I would be able to sneak in the back and no-one would notice me. However, on my way in, I saw someone I knew from uni, and went to say hi. I was then instantly welcomed by everyone I met, and was pleased to see other people I knew and wasn’t so terrified.

I enjoyed the services at BH and liked meeting new people, and so I carried on going to BH for a few months.

In January of 2009, just after starting back after the Christmas holidays, my friend (who I knew from medics’ hockey) invited me to go away for the Christian Medical Fellowship weekend for Christian Medical Students. My first impression was ‘no way!’, but out of politeness, I said I’d think about it. I spoke to my mum about it, and she said it all sounded a bit ‘bible-bashing God squad’ (which was exactly what I was thinking) so I decided to tell my friend that I did not want to come. That was a Sunday afternoon, and I was seeing her in the evening at the service at BH.

In the service that night, there was a guest speaker from Holland Road Baptist Church. I don’t remember the passage he was preaching on, but I do remember him talking about how awesome God’s love was. He was talking about the word ‘sonneke’ and how this describes what God’s love should do to you. He described it as holding a piece of soap in your hand too tightly, and it shooting out. That’s what should happen. Along with that, he was talking about God’s love in a way I had never thought about it before. He was talking of a personal love. Of God loving ME, in a way that I couldn’t even comprehend.

The sermon didn’t make me become a Christian there and then, but it did make me think ‘maybe I should investigate this a bit more’ and make me decide to go on the CMF weekend.

I went on the CMF weekend, and although I was daunted by the arm-waving in the praise and worship and the praying out loud, it did make me think ‘in this room are 400 medical students, all Christians. Maybe they’ve got something right- surely not all of them, intelligent people, with so many amazing testimonies of how God has worked in their life, can be wrong?’

Once I returned from the weekend, I signed up to do a Christianity Explored course. This was a weekly meeting, where a group of us ate together, read through the gospel of Mark, watched a DVD about the passage we were reading then discussed it. There was a real mix in my group, with both Christians and non-Christians there. The course was brilliant, and I learned loads. I was able to ask all the hundreds of questions I had, and discuss my feelings on different aspects of Christianity.

I had no thunderclap, lightening strike of a moment of ‘yes, this is true’. It was something that developed over time with me, over many years, but culminating over a few months in 2009. I realised, over many discussions with my housemates, none of whom currently believe in God, that Christianity really does stand up to questioning.

Life suddenly makes sense.

At the end of my third year at uni, I had the hardest exams I had ever had to do. Yet with the help of God, with the strength knowing Him gave me, I was the least stressed I have ever been. And I passed everything. I’m not saying that because I knew God I passed my exams, but the fact that my exam results were really not as important anymore, I was in a much better frame of mind to do what I could.

Realising that Christianity isn’t about going to church once a week and trying to be a ‘good person’ but is about having a personal relationship with God has changed my life. Finally understanding what it means to say ‘Jesus died for me’ is beyond words. I am a sinful human being. I do things I shouldn’t, I rely on myself and on my own ability, I ignore the God that created me, who gave me life, on a daily basis. Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, who lived a life that was completely sin-free, took the penalty I deserve. The wages of sin is death. Jesus took my place on the cross. He died for my sin, so that I may look forward to eternal life with him. And that is a completely free gift. There is nothing I can do to deserve to be saved, or to earn it. Isn’t that amazing? The Son of God died for me. There is nothing more important in the world than that.

One Response to “My Testimony”

  1. Abenezer said

    God bless you

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