“Starting my third year at uni I felt incredibly lonely. I had been in a long term relationship until mid-summer before starting back. During the relationship I had pulled away from many of my close friends and as a result I felt really isolated coming back to uni in September. I have been a Christian since I was a child, but the relationship I had been in had become what I lived for, so choosing to walk away from it left me floundering.
One of the first nights back at uni I tried to reconnect with old friends from my course. They were amazingly welcoming and remarked at how glad they were to ‘have me back’. Yet walking home that night I felt so alone and empty. Despite having just been with a whole room full of people and having a wonderfully supportive family, I felt that there was no one here in Norwich who I could turn to if times got rough, no one to give me a hug when I needed it. So crippling was the sense of loneliness that I seriously considered going and begging my ex to take me back. Despite how unhealthy and detrimental it would be to me, I figured it would be better than being alone.
I sobbed my heart out on that walk that night. Through the wracking tears a verse came to mind reminding me that God has promised to never leave me, that I am not alone – “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31v6). I knew that God was there for me. I begged of God for someone, anyone, who I could have for support, someone I could ask for a hug. They didn’t even have to truly care for me, just someone who could give me a hug without questioning it.
A year and a half has passed since then, and God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I have thrown myself back into serving God through both my church and the Christian Union on campus. Through them, God has blessed me with an incredible network of truly supportive friends, who aren’t just there for a hug, but who care for me and listen to me. Who point me toward the cross when I’m struggling with my faith.”
- Ruth Bingham, Third Year, Medicine