This is an incredibly personal question and it is going to be different for pretty much everyone. I am not sure how well it will work but I have had an idea for something to try with this post. The Church I am a member of has a tradition of testimonies, where members of the congregation will stand up and talk about how Christ has and is working in their lives. I would love it if people would do something similar with this post. My idea is that anyone who wants to can write a post using the same title and in the same vein as this post and then link them back to each other. I think this would be a great exercise to see how Jesus is working around the world in many different lives and lifestyles.
Well to start off let me tell you a bit about myself. I am 24 years old and I am currently living in the north of England with my parents. It hasn't always been so great though.
My childhood was great, I had everything I could ever ask for, I had loving parents and was brought up in a warm and welcoming Christian Church. School bored me but somehow I always managed to come away with the highest results and once I finished it was off to University for me.
For me this is really where I consider that my life began, for the first time in my life I was living away from home doing what I wanted. I had decided to study Physics at Uni for two reasons, the first was that I was very good at it, the second is that it annoyed a lot of people back home. I say I had a happy childhood and that the Church I grew up in was warm and welcoming, but I never felt any attachment to it other than family ties. Because I had no relationship with God at this point in my life I felt no desire or reason to stay in the Church. Subsequently I stopped attending and fell into some bad habits.
My first day at Uni so easily could have been the beginning of an epic love story, within 5 minutes of arriving at my induction I had met a beautiful girl and fallen head over heels in love. After a short chat and an impromptu pub date we arranged to go on our first real date. Everything went really well, date followed date, we spent all our time together and within weeks we had realised we were falling for each other quite hard. In meeting this girl I also had some great excuses to avoid going home and attending Church. We spent as much time as we could together and if that meant not seeing my family or going to Church then it was a price I was willing to pay.
Over the next 2 years things just kept getting better, we had done the meet the parents thing, moved in together and were in our minds very happy. And so we began planning for the future, if we were going to be together I would have to meet her whole family and that meant travelling abroad. So we packed our things and flew half way around the world to meet her whole family. Again things went well, I was accepted into the family and had an amazing time relaxing and being a tourist. And just before I left to go home again, we got engaged.
We knew our families would not be happy about this as we were still at uni and had a lot of work to do in order to graduate. So we decided to wait to tell people until we were finished Uni, we were together, we were happy, waiting was no problem at all.
My partner had been ill for most of the time we were together and I did a lot to look after her and unfortunately on our return to the UK she became worse. This period of time tried my patience, tested my love and drove me to breaking point a number of times. But each time we would get through it and become stronger for it.
That was until she gradually started to feel better. With her illness my partner had dropped out of Uni and wanted to study something different, something where she could make a difference to people. So off she went back to uni and she seemed very happy. Also at about the same time we were both laid off by the company that had employed us and we took on new jobs working for a brewery. With everything that had changed we had very little time with each other but we knew it would only be for one more year.
The stress however began to tell and with her recovering health my partner was evolving into a new person. And although we could both see it neither of us wanted to admit we were growing apart. After over 4 years my partner decided enough was enough, she had met someone else and wanted to move on.
This was possibly the hardest moment of my life so far for me, I had lost everything. I had no relationship with my family, no house to live in, no partner and I had no friends in the city in which I lived. This was possibly the lowest I have ever felt. The one thing left in my life was the job working for the brewery, and that only made my troubles worse.
So tail between my legs I went home, and moved back in with my parents. I still wanted nothing to do with the Church and spent as little time with my family as I could. I spent all my time working and mourning what I had lost. My family knew there was a problem and quickly worked out that I needed help. However I refused any and all help, I just didn't care anymore.
The one positive that came out of that summer is that my Mum dragged me to Church every Sunday. I ignored everything there though and just played on my DS or phone. However slowly I began to pay attention, at first to the music, then the words and eventually the sermons themselves.
So that summer came and went and it was time for me to return to finish my last year at Uni. I found myself a small flat to live in and went back with the aim of rebuilding my life. If only it was so easy to do that. Time and again one after the other I was dealt body blows that would be difficult to get over. I lost my job, lost all but 1 of my friends and had the spectre of my ex hanging round constantly.
However the first weekend I moved back to Uni I found myself sat in a Church. I had no intention of going at all, I just wanted a walk to clear my head, yet there I was. I instantly felt at home, accepted and welcome. It sounds sad but it was one of the best feelings of my life. Over time this Church became like my family, I have a lot of friends there and it is still one of the places where I feel my happiest and most comfortable. Since I began attending there my life has picked up. In fact it is better now than it has ever been, I am truly happy, from the inside out.
So much has happened since then and most of it is documented here in this blog or will likely be in the future. And if I talk about it all this blog post would become an even bigger monster than it is.
But why is all this relevant to the question I asked?
The answer is simply that Jesus saved me.
And its not just in the spiritual sense of the born again Christian. Jesus took me from the darkest place and held me. He showed me love, peace and happiness. He showed me there was a life worth living. I don't think many people know quite how far I fell or how hard it has been to get back on top and start living again. But Jesus does, and it was by His strength that I made it back. In this brief overview I have missed a great deal out that has little bearing on the main point of the story. I fell and Jesus lifted me higher. Many times during my time at Uni I was involved in sinful activities and evil ways. But Jesus saved me from that sin too.
Jesus gave me my life back and gave me a reason to live. A reason to wake up in the morning and get out of bed. And because of this I want Him to have the whole of my life. It is not mine and has never been, even if I thought otherwise. He has just entrusted me with it for a time. He wants me for a task and now I want to go do it. All because Jesus is everything to me. I am not perfect and don't always do what is right, but I sure do try to and I want to follow His plans for me.
I hope this has not been too long or depressing for people, but I hope you take it for what it is. If you want to join in my experiment do not feel you have to write a huge post. Just write what Jesus means to you, if you want to include why then that is great too.. I hope people do join in with this, if you do please send me the link as a comment or on firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can post it below. All I ask in return is that you link to this post in your response, thanks.
Check out the people who have already posted on this title.
This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.