8 Years Old Today

8 years ago my life was changed. Suddenly there was more to live for, a purpose, a joy and a person. I met Jesus 8 years ago and he changed my life. I wrote my story on Anita’s blog as a guest post. But here it is again, as I thought it would be right to post it again today:

The real pinnacle moment for me was when I was 17 and I encountered Jesus for the first time.  Before that I was never interested in Christianity. I was brought up by atheist parents and thought Christians were a bunch of weird folk that wore sandals and waved flags to cheesy music to a God that didn’t exist. Through my teenage years I often questioned many things about life and thought deeply about things and I realised after a while that I had everything that I could possibly want and what the world deemed to make you happy: success (in good grades and having a job), a boyfriend, friends to go drinking with, partying every weekend etc. What more could a girl want? But thoughts would often race through my mind about how unhappy I was, a blackness buried deep that nothing could soothe or make sense of.

Until one day I met a Christian and a Christian who was different to everyone else and didn’t seem like the cheesy Christian I was expecting. This friend soon began talking about Jesus and she gave me some Christian music to listen to, which led her to inviting me to a Christian music event which completely changed my life!

So here I was at this event surrounded by Christians and listening to some good music, suddenly there was a break in the music and a guy got up and started to speak. This really caught my attention, this guy started to talk about Jesus but it wasn’t the Jesus I had heard of before. The Jesus I had heard about was some 2000 year old guy on the cross which resulted in people wearing funny robes and singing badly to 3 chords.

But this guy spoke about Jesus in a different way, a Jesus that was alive now and cared about people and cared about me. After he spoke there was some prayer time and a lady came up and prayed for me (I don’t think she knew I wasn’t a Christian).  She started to tell me things that God was revealing to her about me. This again was a complete shock: she was telling me things that no one knew about and she was telling me what God thought of me. I left that place very confused.

This completely shook my foundations and led me to question a lot of things about my life, Christianity and if there was really a God that loved me.

I started to go to church and hear the Gospel. I also started reading the Bible and it become apparent to me through reading the Bible that it was authentically about Jesus and that actually Jesus was asking me to make a decision to follow him.

But there was a snag. I had been dating a guy for about a year and it was getting serious; however he had no interest in Christianity at all. But I was getting to that point where I was going to become a Christian and I felt deeply that Jesus was asking me to make a choice between going out with this guy and carrying on the path I was on, or dropping everything and follow him.

On April 11th 2004 I made my choice. I broke up with my boyfriend in the morning and went to church in the evening and because it was Easter Sunday there was a wonderful Gospel message with an appeal at the end for people to follow Christ. Except of course, I was scared to go up to the front! And I stayed put until it got to the point where the preacher said “There is still someone here who needs to come up to the front” Well If that wasn’t a sign then I don’t know what is! My legs took me to the front where I gave my life to Christ.

Since then it hasn’t been easy. I don’t think I understood what it meant to follow Jesus until I got to Uni and became a part of the Christian Union there and started hearing more of the Gospel and of who Jesus is. But one thing I have noticed is that I have a security that I never had before, there is no need to strive for what the world calls success when life is found in Jesus, and he shone the light in the darkness which brings such peace!

I went through so many emotions during that year, some spiritual attacks with bad dreams, some fighting with friends and parents about whether I was joining a cult and some just within myself – is this Jesus really real and does he really love me? Yet as I look back now, I know that through those struggles Jesus was always with me and pointing me to the Cross where I glance and see how rubbish I am and then I look again and see how much he loved me and that he would never leave me.

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