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Upside down

December 2000 | by Marilyn Jones

When I left home for university, I was excited but apprehensive. Who would I meet? Who could I trust? Who would I feel safe with?

For the first few months at Aberystwyth I went along with what I thought was expected of students, but often felt a great ache. Was this all I could expect out of life? Wasn’t there something more? I was dissatisfied.

I used to look at the stars sparkling in the night sky and wonder at the vastness of creation. I believed God had created it all, and felt I had a spiritual dimension to my life. After all, I had attended a Welsh Sunday school, joined a Presbyterian church when I was fifteen, and had occasionally read the Bible. I felt I was an honest person and had a moral edge over many of my friends.

Special quality of life

One evening, in the University Hall, I and a friend got into a discussion with some people from the Christian Union. They invited us to a talk the following Saturday. My overwhelming impression of that first meeting was of the love and genuine interest everyone showed us. I felt safe in their company.

After that I never missed the talks on Christian issues and the Bible. These students became my friends, but I knew they had a special quality of life that I did not. I wanted to know it too.

As the months went by I learnt of the immense love God has for people. I began to see that God is holy and that the reason I didn’t know him was because I was a sinner. But I also saw what God had done about it by sending his son Jesus from heaven to rescue sinners like myself.

Great peace

This turned my life upside down. I began to see that what I thought pleased God (my religion, respectability and moral efforts) was neither enough nor the right way to know him. Instead I needed to look outside of myself and trust Jesus Christ alone.

I cannot give an exact time when I became a Christian, but I know that during that first year God found me and helped me call on him for forgiveness. In Jesus I found the great peace I was looking for.

After university I entered a career in education. Over the years I have found great encouragement in being a Christian. Sometimes I am amazed at how slow I am to learn God’s ways but I am even more amazed at his patience with me.

I am forever grateful to Jesus my Saviour, the ‘rock which is higher than I’, on whom I lean in every eventuality of life.