I’ve been lucky in that I was born into a Christian family and so was brought up learning about God. I suppose the point where I would have first called myself a Christian would have been when I was six. I’d gone to a Christian thing and I was really scared in the car on the way back home that we were going to crash and I would die before I had become a Christian, and would go straight to hell. So when I got back home I asked my Mum to pray for me so that I could be a Christian, which I felt really happy and relieved about. Of course a six-year-old’s view of anything, including Christianity, is quite limited, but as I’ve grown up I’ve come to know more about it.

I’ve never really doubted God’s existence. Sometimes I’ve thought it would be easier to live if God didn’t exist because then it no longer matters about what’s right and wrong, but whenever I’ve tried to imagine a world without God it just seems so utterly pointless and meaningless. Living without God would mean that life was reduced down to no more than people being born and then dying, with none of what happens in between being relevant to them or anyone else. It takes away any hope in life for there being something better. But I’ve realised that believing in God’s existence by itself isn’t enough. Although I’ve never stopped being a Christian and it’s always been a part of my life, it wasn’t really something that I would particularly think about. I’ve always wanted to get baptised, but never really thought I would have the courage to do it, partly because I never felt that I was a good enough Christian to deserve it, and also because I hate speaking to large groups of people.

About a year ago I went to a Christian youth event where I suddenly realised God’s great love for me and what an idiot I’d been in neglecting God in my life and putting other things first instead of him. Although in my heart I’d known this, I don’t think I had ever really wanted to change. This made me realise that I had to really work on my relationship with God, but even though I tried, I still struggled with following God completely and trusting him completely with my life. In my head, I’d thought that I had to be a much better person myself and then I would be right with God. Whenever I did something wrong, I would pray for God’s forgiveness, and know that I was forgiven, and yet still feel guilty for things particularly if it was something I had done before because I wondered how could God keep on forgiving me? I’ve come to realise that I’m never going to be that perfect person, and the only way to God is through Jesus because he died for me on the cross to take away my sins and to save me, and although I’ve always been told this, I realise now that that’s all I need because he has forgiven me. God cared enough about me to send his son to die in my place for my sins.

Being baptised today symbolises this for me and how I want to lead my life with Jesus at the centre. Although I know that this is not always how I am or how I will be, I know that God accepts me for who I am and will never leave me, and doesn’t need me to be perfect for that to happen. I know I will face many struggles through my life but that God will be with me and I pray that I can learn to rely on him fully instead of relying on myself.