When I got together the courage to walk up the hill, and actually go to church, it was better than I could have imagined.
Since I let Jesus into my life, and have asked God what he wants from me (rather than the other way round), everything has changed.
As I grew up my faith was all over the place. It found its expression in ad-hoc prayer, spirituality, and even for a while in a strongly defended atheism, which smacked more of denial than the truth.
I felt like I was post-modern enough to pick and choose my beliefs according to my own agenda. My problem was, that I was looking to myself, and not involving God in any of it.
During my teenage years, my rebellion against authority had also found me kicking out against the Church; a Church, to be fair, that I had no real experience of, other than the things that I saw on the news. I had read a bit of the Bible, even been to a service or two, but I had no real concept of what being a Christian was about.
Alongside this, I grew up, went to university, got a job, and experienced my fair share of problems along the way just like everyone else does. Despite all this, I knew that something was missing in between the moments of my 9-5 hard-working routine, a refrain was running in my head:
There must be something more than this.
But I didn't know where to find it. I felt like I had been everywhere for answers and I was running out of places to look.
When I began to read the Bible, that changed. I started to understand something of the person that Jesus was and how he had cared for all people. Over time, I started to understand that if God had made the universe, then everything in it was held together, and existed, because of His love. It was a powerful, shocking realisation; one that has worked to change me every day since.
When I got together the courage to walk up the hill, and actually go to church, it was better than I could have imagined. Since I let Jesus into my life, and have asked God what he wants from me (rather than the other way round), everything has changed. My faith is stronger, I am better against adversity, I judge less, I consider my actions more, and I work harder.
But more than that. There is no longer the doubtful refrain running in my head. I have found my home and purpose in the love of God, and Jesus Christ.
About the author
James Purvis was recently confirmed at Christ Church Swindon.