“I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home, I had heard about God but my family never really attended church. When I was 10 my parents broke up. My brother and I went to live with my mum. We were very scared and confused about what had happened and what was going to happen in the future.
I got pulled out of private school and started attending a public Greek school which caused many complications between my parents. When a court order was issued we began to see my dad a couple of times a week. By the age of 11, I had been to countless psychologists, court hearings and sat in many police cars. I was in a very unhappy state of mind and didn’t have a good relationship with my dad. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong to deserve everything that had happened to me.
When I was 12, my friend invited me to an interchurch youth club event. With a little hesitance I went. Straight away I noticed something different. As I walked in to this hall, I could see young teenagers, people of my age singing and worshipping. They seemed to be beaming, full of joy and happiness. I couldn’t really grasp it. Later on that year, I was invited to go on a Christian youth camp. The theme of the week was “How big is your God.” I came away having listened to everything but it not really changing the way I felt about God. I continued to go about my life, just as it was before.
It wasn’t until the following year, when I attended yet another youth camp that I began to challenge God and myself about things going on in my life. Why such a loving God would allow everything to go the way it had.
With some help from friends I had made, I started talking to God, praying, asking for Him to help me, show me what to do. God started to show me that I can’t rely on my own strength but on His. Slowly, I felt weight being lifted off my shoulders, as I gave things to God, surrendering things to Him. I had been asking for courage to stand up to my dad, and not too long after, I made the decision to stop seeing him.
I started to attend a church in my home town and soon after got baptised. I know that I am not perfect. God has helped me to understand that no-one is perfect but Christ himself. And hence, just as God forgives us, we need to be prepared to forgive those that trespass against us. It’s definitely not an easy task, but I know that God is and always has been there for me.
God has also taught me that we are unable to see the big picture sometimes, so when it seems everything is going poorly in my life, I need to remember and trust that God has a plan for me.”
- Jasmine Carter, First Year, Biological Sciences