My becoming a Christian has been a relatively slow process. I was brought up as a Catholic although not a strict one. I vaguely believed in a God: I certainly prayed for God to do things for me. If I did not immediately get exactly what I’d prayed for I felt cheated and increasingly sure that God did not take an active interest in me personally. As a teenager this led to an interest in paganism because it seemed to promise that I could be in control of my destiny. Thankfully, I was kept from becoming too heavily involved in this. By my late teens I thought there was a God, but my belief was in an impersonal construct. I argued that all religions were equally true, but this apparent tolerance hid the fact that I thought they were all equally wrong and misguided: that there was no right answer. I have been blessed with good Christian friends who did not hide their faith, especially when I went to university. However I remained apathetic towards the gospel. I thought there was no way humans could understand anything about God so what was the point in trying?
After university, several events happened to make me realise that I needed to look into Christianity. One moment was during a holiday in India where I was in a taxi with what must be the world’s worst driver. He hit the sides of busses, lurched onto pavements full of pedestrians, and went up busy one-way streets the wrong way. I’ll give him this: he was determined to get us to our location and ignored the very disparaging remarks that were screamed about his driving ability! I thought that there was a good chance we would die and found myself actually praying. Thankfully we were all okay, but this event led me to find out more about Christianity. It didn’t seem right, after all, to pray in an emergency for God to help me out but to otherwise ignore Him.
I mulled these thoughts over and when I moved to London some time later I told a friend that I wanted to look into Christianity. She gave me a Bible and told me about a nearby church that a mutual friend attended. I went there and attended a course for people interested in Christianity. I really started thinking about what God is like.
As you can see, I made the decision to become a Christian. There was no blinding flash of light but at the course’s weekend away in summer the thought came to me that I had to make a decision one way or the other. I decided to put my faith in God and stop searching for excuses not to accept Him.
Since becoming a Christian I have had my ups and downs but am learning to trust that God is working in me. Part of this is increased awareness of my sins - I might not like knowing that I am not a perfect person, but acknowledging this means that I will be healthier in the long run.
God doesn’t just want us to feel guilty, but He wants us to come back to our true and eternal home with Him and that Christ’s death was the only way to do this. Jesus chose to die for me because I couldn’t save myself. It happened and I can’t insult that gift by pretending otherwise. I take hope in the Bible, and one particularly powerful verse has been Romans 8:38-39. It reads: ‘I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus out Lord’.
I’ve come to realise that God was and is working through everyone I know. To people who have non-Christian friends who are completely apathetic to the gospel, I would say have hope always that God is working in them. Because that is exactly the person I was and God never gave up on me.
I am very happy to tell Jesus today, I will follow you. I am also leaving Cambridge today and will soon be going to live in London. It is exciting to think that God has a plan for me and I pray that I will experience good Christian fellowship there, just as I have at Eden. My journey as a Christian has been a series of steps. Today is to thank God for sticking with me and to promise that I will try, with His guidance, to arrive at the destination and become the person He wants me to be.