Icannot remember a time when I did not believe that I was a sinner deserving God’s judgement, but that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had died on the cross so that I could be forgiven.
But I also knew that just believing in God, going to church every week, or even praying, did not make me a Christian. I knew that I had to ask God to forgive my sin, to come into my heart, and take me into a personal relationship with himself.
However, I had no sense of urgency about all this. I felt there would be loads of time in my life to sort things out with God.
But God began to show me that this couldn’t be left, no matter how young I was. There was absolutely no guarantee that I would still be alive the next day! I realised that if I died I would go to hell because of my sins, and the thought terrified me.
I prayed desperately, asking God to forgive me and come into my life.
I didn’t feel different at first, so I thought that nothing had happened and I went on more or less the same. But I wanted to be certain that I was a Christian and, in my heart, was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with how I was living. I was not letting Christ into every area of my life, and I knew that this wasn’t right.
God still had his hand on me, though, and revealed more of himself to me. I began to understand that he had given everything for me.
He had paid an enormous price when Jesus died on the cross. I felt that there could be no sacrifice too great for me to make in return. He had done everything necessary for me to be saved, and all I had to do was accept the free gift and open up my whole life to him.
I asked God to give me assurance that I did indeed belong to him, and this he did.
Last year I started at university. I found it very hard to move away from my family and friends, but I knew that I could trust God to be with me and guide me in everything.
If ever I get stressed, it is always because I have forgotten what it says in the Bible: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight’.
Wherever I am, and whatever I’m doing, I know that nothing can happen to me that is not part of God’s plan for my life.