“I’ve never known what it’s like not to know who Jesus is. As a child I went to Church with my parents – my Dad led a Church, so talking about God, praying and reading Bible stories was something that was very normal. It’s an upbringing I’m very thankful for, but although I had a lot of knowledge about God, I didn’t really know what it was to have a relationship with Jesus. I could quote lots of Bible verses to you or list all the books of the Bible in order, but if you asked me how Jesus had impacted my life I would have been unable to give an answer. I didn’t really know who Jesus was.
Throughout my early teenage years, although I went to church and put up a good facade to my Christian friends, I didn’t really want anything to do with God. I got to a place where I couldn’t deny God was real but didn’t know what to do. I remember being at a Christian camp and seeing 7,000 people my age passionately praising and worshipping God and I couldn’t understand why – what was there to be excited about? I remembered people saying that God loved them and how God was helping them with issues in their lives, but that wasn’t the God I thought I knew.
Then I realised I’d got it all wrong. I knew so much about Jesus, but I didn’t know what it was like to know Him. He came to earth as a man and died on a cross for me because He loves me and wants to know me personally. I knew I’d messed up, but God had already forgiven me for those things.
I now know life is never going to be plain sailing. We live in a world where there are things that get us down or lead us away from God. However, realising that nothing – not my sin, my shame, angels or demons – can separate me from God gave me such freedom. I know that I do and will continue to mess up, but I have a Father in Heaven who loves me more than I can imagine and wants me to know Him. I can accept the fact I’m not perfect, but I know God is perfect and He has a good plan for me.”
- Tom Faulkner, Second Year, Environmental Science