I grew up as a kid where going to church was as normal as going to the shops; reading the Bible and prayer were also part of our daily or weekly routine. Until the age of 8 or 9, I thought that those things made me a ‘Christian’; I was ‘covered’ and heading to heaven.
One Easter-time on a windy beach at Word Alive (a Christian festival/conference), a student asked my brother and me if we were Christians. Surprised, I didn’t know what to say. I remained silent, left questioning my so-called faith.
The following year during one of the talks in my group at Word Alive, I decided to make a firm commitment to Christ. It was incredible to understand that God wanted me to be adopted into his family, and I went back to our cabin excited to share this with a friend, Margaret Chapman, who was staying with us!
Since then I have been challenged through the honest, Biblical teaching and faith of people God has placed in my life (at Church, home, Summer Camps, [New] Word Alive etc.) to seek out a true, active and personal faith with the Lord Jesus Christ, who, through dying on the cross made a pathway to forgiveness with God.
Clearly, I have not always succeeded in that, but my faith is not about my success or failure; it’s about what Jesus has done for me and how I want Him to be Lord over all my life.
Last autumn when I was ill, I stopped reading my Bible, praying properly and attending youth group/Church regularly. It was a really painful experience. If I learnt anything, it would be how much I NEED God; how much of my life was missing when I turned my back on Him, and how He will never, ever let me go.