It wasn’t until I was studying for my A-levels that the faith I’d had as a young child was really tested, and I started to question what I had believed for so long.
I took Religious Studies in philosophy and ethics. Faced with so many new ideas and theories about the world and its existence and life and death, I questioned what I had been brought up believing. Until this point, I had believed what my parents had taught me from the Bible, without question or doubt.
I started wondering how I could know that Christianity was the truth when there were so many other theories I hadn’t considered. During this time I read the Bible less and less. The only time I really studied it was when I went to church.
After my A-levels, I had a year of part-time work and then started in my current employment full time. It was then that I realised I needed to make a decision. My colleagues asked questions about my faith and about church that I didn’t know how to answer. I realised that the reason I didn’t know how to answer the questions was because I’d stopped reading my Bible.
As a result my faith had stopped growing because I was no longer being fed from God’s Word. So I picked up my Bible and read it every morning before going to work. I read with Bible notes so I could better understand what I was reading.
I had to decide, was I for God, or against him? Was I going to live the way my colleagues lived or was I going to live a life for God? As I started to read my Bible again, I realised that what I read really made sense.
It made sense of my life and the world around me; it made sense that we had been created perfect, but no longer lived this way because we decided to go against God and live our own way. Yet, despite being God’s enemies, he loved us so much that he was willing to send his own Son to restore our relationship with him.
Through the perfect life of Jesus, and his death and resurrection, we could once again be brought into relationship with God the Father and be called his children and enter into his family. Because I knew this to be true, the only way I could live my life was in submission to him.
It was no longer a case of how I wanted to live my own life, but how God wanted me to live my life. I had to turn my back on the world and look to the truths represented by the cross of Jesus. And although my colleagues were not going to be walking along the same path I had chosen, I still knew that it was right to follow Jesus.
I was baptised on 5 September 2009. Since then my walk with God has been far from perfect, but God has remained faithful. He teaches me something new every day and is constantly shaping me into the person he wants me to be.
Being a Christian and living as a Christian is hard work. There are many obstacles and difficulties, but through God’s grace, he has brought me through. ‘Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in him!’ (Lamentations 3:22-24).