I have a lot to be thankful for. Both my parents are Christians and have brought me to church, regularly, since I was four days old.

I’ve always been aware of God’s love for me and I cannot remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a Christian. Therefore, I cannot look at my life and say, “This is when I became a Christian”.

However, there are a couple of moments that I think stood out:

Firstly, the last time that I ever saw my Grandpa. He had cancer and, although it first appeared to be treatable, it eventually got too difficult to treat and he died. But, the last time I saw him, what really struck me was how calm he was. He wasn’t afraid or crying, in fact I remember him smiling! Grandpa knew he was going to be with Jesus, so he told me “I am going to miss you, but I will see you again, in heaven”.

The second moment was the second year that I went to ‘The Gathering’ with Impact. We were singing and I was suddenly filled with such a wonderful feeling of joy, making me wish that I stay in that moment and go on praising God like that forever. I had been thinking about being baptised a little bit before this, but it was then that I was sure I wanted to be baptised. If this was how it felt to follow Jesus, a merciful saviour who came to die for the world of sinners that rejected him, how it felt to be in the hands of a loving and faithful Father and Creator, and how it felt to know the presence of the Holy Spirit, always giving me help and courage to face the day, why would I ever even consider wanting anything else? My God gave everything up for me, now it is my turn to give everything up to him.

Finally, I would like to share a Bible verse with you. I chose it because it shows us that, even when things look bad, God is in control and he has not forgotten us, and because I think that message is one of incredible hope, meaning that we need not fear anything. And that means a lot to me.

Jeremiah 29:11

‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’