I highly doubt that a huge number of people will read this, but I am still going to write this testimony, here goes…
I was brought up with a Christian family and the Christian morals were instilled in me from a young age, I was also christened. Although I went to a Christian faith primary school we did not go to church on a regular basis as a family, so I was not really sure what it all meant to me. We did go at Christmas and the odd other occasion but that was about it. It was not until I got to high school that a lady from church, that I knew through her son at primary school, told me about a church youth group. Very scared, at the age of 11 I went along to the youth group not knowing anyone that well, at the end of the day most of the people there had known each other for a lot longer as they went to church much more often. I was a very nervy child and hated going into situations were I knew very few people and would not stay away from home or anything, this was a big step for me!
I then went on to the next youth group up after making some lovely friends, who I am still best friends with to this day! Other than youth group I did not do a lot of other things regarding church and my faith.
Wanting to stand up to say I was a Christian was not an easy thing, but when given the opportunity to do the Youth Alpha course and get confirmed I was up for it. With my doubts I went along and to say I got a lot from it is an understatement. That is when I first started to understand what it was like to live as a Christian and I am so grateful to all the leaders there for helping me take the leap. The next nerve-racking but extremely exciting thing to happen was getting confirmed. I was finally going to stand up in front of my friends and family and God and say yes this is what I wanted, I wantedto be a follower of Jesus. I even got the privilege, although very frightening chance, to read out my testimony in front of the whole cathedral. But after I did it and nearly cried, I was made up that I had made this commitment.
Then when it was time to move on to the next youth group; super excited! I had some amazing friends and although I was not right there in my faith I was getting on quite well with it. New youth group meant evening church service! This was definitely something very different but I loved it.
I lost my grandad in 2013 and this was possibly one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. I remember seeing my grandad for the last time, I never thought for a second that I would never see him again. But it is almost like I knew, I gave him the biggest hug I have ever given anyone and told him I loved him, I can still remember it now. When I came home from school one day my dad opened the front door and was crying, I had never seen him cry before and I was very confused. When he told me, I burst into tears and screamed. I fell to the floor and this continued for about 10 minutes. I was so angry at God, I could not believe He had done this! But when I look back on it I know God did the right thing. My granddad was going to go in to hospital for a massive operation that may not have worked and could have caused him pain. I believe it was God’s way of letting my Grandad die naturally and in peace. It also strengthened my faith because, although I was angry, I knew God had done it for the good.
I have been to a few Christian events as well which really strengthen my faith. I have felt God in many ways and cried rivers of tears because of the Holy Spirit. I even had the privilege to speak in tounges thanks to one of my friends, I have never been more grateful. It allows me to feel like I can talk to God even when I do not know what to say to Him. One experience allowed me to pray with a lady who I did not know. It was after a song called ‘No longer slaves’, the song sent me in floods of tears because the words ‘I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God’. Listening to those lyrics is very difficult for me because although I know I am a child of God I often feel like a slave to fear…
My life seemed pretty easy up to then and although I was nervy I got on well. But as I have been getting older I have definitely struggled with anxiety…(Going to try and not cry as I write this as I have to go into uni soon!) It has never been super terrible but it definitely has a strong grip on my life. I feel like I am fighting myself sometimes, a full on inner war! It sometimes tries to pull me from God and although it has never been as bad as self harm and depression I have definitely thought about it before in those moments when it all seems just too much. I am so glad that I never did anything and I am fighting my battle. Every day I wake up and think I really hate myself, I hate the way I look and always feel like no one will ever like or love me, I get annoyed at myself, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. I have a long way to go but I am fighting it with God by my side.
I am so grateful for all God has done for me and although I have a long way to go in my faith, I love Jesus! He saved me! He has given me the most amazing friends that help me so much in my faith. I have known many of them since the age of 5 and some 11 and some much less but all of them have touched my life and made my faith stronger. I have told some of them things that I could never tell most people and those people know who they are.
Thank you God for everything! 💗