1st Year, Civil Engineering, Heriot-Watt
Although I never grew up in a Christian home I was raised going to Sunday school with my Christian gran every Sunday. I found Sunday school enjoyable when I was younger and liked listening to Bible stories. I remember finding them interesting and I would go to the Bible club at school every Tuesday lunchtime. However, as I grew older I left the Sunday school, a lot of my friends stopped going and I just wasn’t enjoying it as much. I still went to the Sunday service on and off for a bit and sometimes it was okay, other times I would sit in anticipation of the preacher finishing so I could go home, eat and get on with my day.
During high school years I often questioned why I didn’t go to church. One day I just felt the urge to go; I wasn’t really sure why, but if I believed that what I had heard from the Bible was true then why wasn’t I doing anything about it. Although I was still very unsure for the first few weeks I soon got involved in youth events and got to know more people each Sunday. I came to realise that the idea I previously had of Christianity was such a misconception. I had never realised that I could have a personal relationship with God and thought it was all about following rules. The youth events I went to really lit a passion for God within me that I had never had before. The realisation that Jesus had laid his own life down so that I could live mine was just amazing. I began to seek Jesus more and more and began an incredible journey of faith.
The Holy Spirit really started working in me and in my life. I remember opening my Bible to read it for the first time in ages. I didn’t even know where to start so I happened to open it at a random page landing on Matthew 6:25. God really spoke to me in a way which I never realised was possible and He filled me with such an overwhelming sense of joy. I have always been a worrier and it gave me such comfort in knowing that God was there for me to hand over all my worries to Him. He allowed me to stop being concerned about what other people thought of me and I cared less about the insignificant things that had distracted my mind before. I became happy for people to know that I was a Christian and was no longer bothered about people judging me for my faith. Being a Christian didn’t mean my life got any easier but it meant that when times got stressful I knew that God has got a plan for my life so much greater than the challenges I was going to face along the way. Handing my life over to Jesus brought me more hope and joy than I could have ever imagined.
Throughout my adventures with God my faith has been on a journey of growth most of the time and it had never really been tested until I got to university. I was so keen to get stuck in to so many new things that I lost sight of God’s plan. I became so caught up in what I wanted to do and the busyness of Uni life that instead of spending time with Jesus, I tried to seek happiness elsewhere. Outside of church or Christian Union meetings I began spending less time with God and felt like building my relationship with him was just another thing to worry about when I had so much else to be doing.
I soon started to experience constant anxiety. I would worry all time and often not even be able to understand what I was worried about. I have never been a very open person so when it came to emotions or how I felt I just bottled it up and told myself I was fine. I felt emotionally drained all the time and would feel constantly uneasy. I experienced an internal battle that I was too scared to tell anyone about. I had never felt so lonely in my whole life and would sit and overthink thinks for hours on end. I spent a lot of my time crying which is not something I like to admit to, as on the outside I seemed like I had it all together. The sense of dread never left me and any time I got close to telling someone how I really felt I would rethink and tell myself I was fine – so I never have told anyone. While this was happening I couldn’t understand why God was allowing it. I would try to reach out in prayer but it didn’t feel like He was there. This was really hard as all I wanted was to hear Jesus. However, the more I read the Bible the more I found comfort and reassurance. I spent more time in prayer and found God as I began seeking him with all my heart. I placed my trust in the Lord and realised that he had not abandoned me but I had abandoned Him. I feel as though it was God’s way of drawing me closer to Him and reminding me that without my constant faith I can’t cope. I was once again filled with joy and reminded of God’s love for me.
I’m so thankful that Jesus is in my life and I am now strengthening my faith. I am glad that God has given me the courage to share the amazing ways He has moved in my life as I often find it difficult to open up to others. Through God I find my worth and if my Heavenly Father thinks I’m wonderful then what does it matter what anyone else thinks. I can’t wait to see where God’s plan takes me and to continue in the joy of the Lord.