Certainty in an uncertain first year
Being brought up with going to church and being taught about Jesus as the norm, I never really doubted if there was a God. However who this God was and what it had to do with me was nothing I properly considered until my mid teens, when I realised that a decision had to be made by myself, for myself, rather than through my parents/families’ choices.
After looking into the claims of who Jesus is and the fact he died for me became a reality, I decided to follow him and I became a Christian. However, that hasn’t always been easy. Seeing people close to me suffer illness made me question God, and not fully being sure if I had truly ‘become a Christian’ worried me on several occasions.
Then came University… During A levels, I was convinced I wasn’t going to end up in Uni, for one reason or another. Open days were a blur and I paid no attention as I thought ‘I wont be coming anyway’ and though I was praying about decisions I had to make, I felt unaware of where God ‘wanted me to go.’ So I decided on Exeter, as a very random choice, and now I am so glad I did, however that wasn’t the case in first year either.
Being away from home, away from everything familiar in a new city, new accommodation with new friends studying a new course. For someone who didn’t deal well with change, it wasn’t the most fun time. There were several times during first term I was genuinely considering dropping out, packing it all in and figuring out what else to do. I didn’t feel any strong feeling towards coming to Exeter so had no strings attached and didn’t feel like I was losing anything I’d set myself on. However, as first term and first year went on, things settled down, and my perspective on university, my degree and what I’m actually doing here became clearer. In a time of utter vulnerability and feeling totally helpless, relying on God was my only hope. All the stresses I was going through I could take to him, everything I was worrying about I could take to him, and as the year went on, my dependency on him grew, as did my utter awe and love for how much God really does care about us, even when it feels like we’re alone.
Though at the time I saw coming to Exeter as random, looking back I can see how God was so in control of that decision. The friends I’ve made, the amount of things I’ve learnt (ironically the minority of that is from my degree) and the things God has taught me about him has made university an incredible adventure. I’m no where near where I should be and I mess up on a daily, hourly and minutely basis, but one thing I know is that trusting in Jesus was the best thing I have ever done, because with him there is hope in the most hopeless of situations, and love in the loneliest of times.