STORY 2020 Lisa
When I was younger, despite having been brought up Christian, my faith was more abstract. I accepted and followed some aspects, but not others, particularly if I thought they did not align with my view of the world as I saw it. Coming to university, I realised I actually needed to make a decision about what I believed, as I struggled to find motivation to go to church, and was surprised and intrigued by students who did, and who were so passionate about their faith. One day at church, I was questioned about whether I was a Christian, but it was clear they were asking whether I personally believed it, rather than for a generic response. This sparked a huge amount of searching; I read John’s gospel again, and spent time with a friend who kindly helped me through many of my doubts.
Though familiar to me, reading the gospel, I was struck by the message it was conveying.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (1 John, v12-13).
Though I thought in theory this sounded amazing, I found it hard not to dismiss it as being far-fetched; too good to be true. The most pressing root of my doubt and confusion at that time had been about Jesus’ resurrection. Upon addressing this, I was amazed at the strength of the evidence; and realised Jesus must be the son of God, and just in accepting this alone, I can not only be right with God and forgiven for everything I have ever or will ever do wrong, but even be part of his family. The security I have in this is unlike anything else in life; I’ve often felt like societal standards are unattainably high and continually changing. Since the bible states that no one could ever meet the criteria God requires to be considered ‘righteous', unless we accept what Jesus has done for us, we can’t know him. As I’ve continued in my faith, I’ve seen and heard of others accepting this gift from all sorts of backgrounds, ethnicities, political views, personalities, and ages, whether previously religious or atheist, which has been so encouraging to me.