My family was not Christian, but I did go to a Church of England primary school, where I developed a kind of childish unquestioning faith. Just before my teens I attended the Methodist church of my friends. Then in my teens, along with my scientific education I developed a kind of tragic cynicism.
Having plans to study medicine, I missed out by a single grade, and after a brief spell at University I decided to take a year out and did lots of voluntary work. I finished the year with a month in Uganda. After a traumatic trip for many reasons I returned suffering from severe depression. I was extremely angry and thought that whatever God or Gods might be in control they had to be pretty unfair and having seen such tragedy I could not believe there was a loving God.
After going back to University the following year I gradually came out of the depression, and my anger subsided, but God was very much on the sideline. I was in the wilderness and my attitude was one of indifference. I began to worship the twin idols of social status and money. After my MSc I was tired of being a broke student, and I decided to get into the world of computer programming. Despite the stress involved and going through several different jobs I still felt committed to programming and ignored the warning signs that all was not well with my mental health.
Losing a job to redundancy in October 2004, I finally succumbed to the pressures in my life at the time, and around that time began to suffer severe mental health problems. I was hospitalised more than once, and whilst waiting for admission on one occasion I began to see that I was leading a sinful and godless life, and that I needed to learn more about the God I had been sidetracking for years. Unable to work for many months I felt that my life was in tatters and I was afraid of what was to become of me.
As I began to recover I was blessed to have Genevieve move in to the flat opposite mine. I felt like a leper and to have someone who would knock on my door and ask me to church events made me feel like I was being introduced to a community to which I could belong. Genevieve mentioned the Christianity explored course she was leading, and I decided I would surprise her by attending. This helped although I still felt a degree of cynicism. After meeting with Genevieve weekly, I slowly came to know and appreciate the support I have now found through faith in the magnificent gift that Jesus gave us on the cross.
I no longer work in the computer industry, and it took me a long time of soul searching and placing my faith in the Lord to realise that I am still able to do something worthwhile. I feel I have been taught one of the most important lessons in life, that is one of humility. I no longer have the sense of pride or superiority, as I know that whatever happens in my life, I can trust that it is not for me or against me but that it is working towards an almighty design.
I know I have been blessed with a loving and supportive family, and whilst I focus on Jesus and what he did for me on the cross, I want them to know they are still vital to me as a source of love and support, however I make this commitment now to show and share the love I receive and the love I offer in faith in Jesus Christ.