“When I was a child Jesus was never really a big part of my life, He was just a mere photo in the background. I grew up in a non-Christian family – I went to Sunday School as a kid so I vaguely knew who Jesus was, but I didn’t really care. The only real reason why I went to Sunday school was probably because of my best friend going, plus it was led by two old ladies who were really sweet- Auntie Barbara and Mable.
Childhood for me never really happened. When people normally think of childhood they would most likely think of toys, parents taking them out, holidays and lots of happy memories. Well, if you turn that upside down and shake it a little then you might have a rough picture of what it was like for me. Both of my parents were alcoholics and most nights involved fighting, and there were a few family deaths when I was young. It was really hard to see the fighting. I wanted to go down most nights and ask them why they were arguing – surely they loved each other, and I remember vividly the times when we were all really happy – but I often just stayed in my room and cried. Things weren’t much better in school either. The area where I lived was a close community where everyone knew each other which left me as the target for the bullies. This resulted in me not wanting to go to school but also not wanting to stay at home.
I think this is when I first started thinking about God because I would often cry in my room and blame God for all of the evil that was in my life. I was taught at Sunday School that God loved his people, yet I’d often question him, asking why there was pain and suffering in my life as well as my family life.
When I was about seven, my parents decided to get a divorce. I would constantly be being going from one home to another and then social services got involved. I was still determined to go to Sunday School even though I didn’t believe in God – I just found it a fun time and place to escape to. I even invited more friends to come along from school and they did. I was invited to a youth group at another Church during the week and it was really fun, so I went there as well.
When I was 10, I went to live with my brother and I stopped going to Sunday School and the youth club because they didn’t want me to go. Living there didn’t work out, so I went to my first foster family who were Muslim. When I was living there the family wanted me to become a Muslim. This is where I think God totally had me in His grasp, because something inside me kept thinking that Jesus is the saviour of the world and He died on the cross for our sins. I asked to be moved to a Christian family and through the amazing work of God I was placed in a Christian home, and the youth group I used to attend many years ago was right around the corner.
I then decided to go back to the youth group and starting asking questions about why I felt like I did. From there I was able to meet with people in the Church and do Bible studies. In 2013, just after my father passed away from cirrhosis, I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour and was baptised. To this day I am very thankful that even though at the time I hated all the pain and suffering I went through, I knew that Jesus was with me all the way: the days I was crying, the days where I wanted to run away, the days where I thought of suicide. He knew that there was a day coming where I would take His hand and walk with Him. My story is not asking for sympathy but rather to reach out to others who may also need that helping hand.”
- Sandra King, First Year, Physical Education