As I was growing up I gained an appreciation of the wildlife and countryside around us where a typical Saturday included country walks and sadness at the land and views being taken over by Wimpy housing estates. My family were involved in local politics and we helped to improve the local cycleway and wildlife reserves. I tended to take one day at a time, happy to get involved in family life and didn’t have much long term ambition or direction.
At York University almost every other person I met seemed to be a Christian and I was invited to lunch, pizza nights and parties. My Dad had encouraged me to have an open mind and I found out that over that first term—as well as trying out other weekend activities like rock climbing—I got involved in taking soup to homeless people, going to church and just being kind for the sake of it—like the time when somebody suggested we cleaned all the kitchens in the hall of residence. I was attracted to the Jesus who loved everybody equally and who inspired my new friends. It was a time of learning about God, how to pray and taking the time to process all this for myself. It was only when I got home for Christmas and phoned an old school friend to say, “Guess what! I’ve become a Christian” that I realised that my new life had turned into a serious commitment.
It makes me angry that we humans think we can fix everything, yet kids die of measles, dirty water and I buy junk I don’t ‘need’ that will later pollute this amazing planet. I have learnt to value my time as so precious that I want to give it away to the benefit of others. For me that means giving time to kids work, to earn my keep and give money away to those organisations and people that can do all the good things I do not have the skills to do.
Now, ten years on from that chance to ‘say yes’ to Jesus (corny I know), and married to Andrew, I know that life with Jesus is tough yet worth it. We make decisions, sacrifices even, that put God and others first and trusting Jesus will always be with us.