I became a Christian at the end of the first year of my degree, which is now about 3 years ago. Though brought up in a Christian home, up until then I had decided God, Christianity and church were not for me.
However, I had always felt deep down that God existed and that Jesus came to earth and died for my sins. It’s hard to explain but though I ignored it I knew it was true but I just didn’t act on it and tried to prevent it from impinging on my life. This meant, of course, that my life without God was fraught with contradictions and meant I worried that if it was true, I should do something about it, and if it wasn’t true, that caused serious problems for some of my deeply held beliefs.
So, 3 years ago, I decided it was true and became a Christian. I would like to say those 3 years have been a time full of obedience to God, radical improvements in me as a person and the growth of a faith that could shift the Alps. Sadly I don’t feel this is the case.
Looking back to see how you have changed is always difficult as most change is gradual and it’s often very hard to be objective about it. Change is hard to recognise and when I do, it is all too easy to ascribe the changes to time or even to myself, rather than to God.
Over the last three years, it’s hard to see how my relationship with God has changed, but I feel it has, improving slowly but steadily, overcoming my natural distrust. Rather than through extreme spiritual experiences or emotional crises, I feel most progress has been made through my learning actually to trust God.
Having this type of relationship, to which it is hard to ascribe dramatic emotional experiences, often makes me feel insecure and makes me worry that I don’t have as good as a relationship with God as other people do. The last three years have shown me how suspicious I am of emotion, always resisting the feeling of getting carried away, and finding emotional experiences rarely seem very convincing after the immediate feelings have fizzled out.
I am learning more and more how individual a relationship with God is, and how comparison (though often involuntary) is fruitless.
Having highlighted how hard it is to assess yourself objectively, there are definitely areas in my life, in which I can see God’s hand. I can definitely recognise His peace in my life. This is a clear answer to my prayers and without which, on many occasions, my panicking, paranoia or distrust could have wasted opportunities.
`Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’ (Hebrews 13v8), over the last 3 years this verse has been very important to me, reminding me that however my moods differ, my circumstances change, or my confidence fluctuates, God does not change. However far I move from him, he loves me just the same.