Having been brought up in a loving home where the Christian ethos played a significant role in my upbringing, I have always been aware of the concept of God and thought of myself as a Christian. I misunderstood what being a Christian meant for my life though, as I thought that what I had to do to please God was to go to church once a week and try to do good things.
It wasn’t until I came to university and had to independently decide on how I wanted to live life that I became aware that I needed to make an important decision: I could either carry on restricting my faith in its secondary role, not letting it play the part it needed to, or I could see what it would mean for me to allow it to take centre stage.
For a while I experimented with the former, but ended up disappointed in myself and dissatisfied with the things that were controlling me and my relationships with other people. The problem was that I didn’t quite grasp the significance of Jesus, and so didn’t know how to find the fulfilment that I was yearning for.
When I look back now I see how God continually provided for me, always bringing me closer to him. A crucial way in which he did this was to provide brothers and sisters at the Christian Union at university, and here at Eden, who actively modelled Christ’s love in their lifestyles, and even when they didn’t know they were doing so, taught me abundantly about how I could love and serve God better. I am thankful that this continues.
Discovering a community at Eden who were clearly aiming to mirror God’s love for his people, and who were living out the Biblical teaching I found here, really opened my eyes to what being a Christian meant. Over a period of time the penny dropped, and I understood with a new perspective what it means to have a relationship with God. This understanding thankfully, unavoidably led to desiring to put Jesus at the centre of my every day.
I wondered how God could forgive the mistakes I’d made and found, to my great, life-changing relief, that what happened on the cross covered every wrong I’d done him in Christ’s blood, meaning there was no burden of fear or guilt for me to carry, but that I could look forward to being fulfilled and renewed daily in him, and to living to the full the life that he has given to me.