I spend a lot of my time with current students; students in the mix of uni life, discovering who they are and who they want to be. Decisions are a major part of uni life. I recently hung out with Abby and she shared her story and a decision she made that changed the course of not only her university years but the rest of her life. Have a read of her story...
Oversleeping on my first Sunday at university was not the most auspicious start to life as a Christian student but it turned out to be a key point in my journey of faith!
I grew up in a Christian household and had made my first commitment to follow Jesus in my own right at the age of 11. I went to church with my parents every week and enjoyed being part of church life in Walsall, where I grew up. I have to admit that I hadn’t given much thought to where I could worship when I got to university. I was vaguely aware of some churches in the city I was going to but hadn’t got any more detailed plans than that. This was before the era of social media and being able to check everything out on the internet (yes, I am that old!) so it would have taken some forward planning to find out about the churches locally and I hadn’t done any forward planning…..
So I woke up at 10.10am on Sunday 9th October 1994 and had to decide whether to leap out of bed and run to the nearest church (I knew enough to know they all started at 10.30, so time was short!) or whether to pull the duvet back over my head and go back to sleep.
In that moment, I realised I was making more than just a decision about going to church that day. I was making a choice about how I was going to live as a student. Was I going to follow Jesus in this new chapter of my life? Or was I going to let the faith I had slip away? And almost immediately, I knew that life with Jesus was the only thing that I could imagine. So I got up as quickly as I could and literally ran to the first church I found. It turned out to be a good place to be and I worshipped there for the rest of my time at university.
God did something profound in me as I woke up so late that Sunday morning. He nudged me in a way that I didn’t quite understand at the time. However, I knew enough to know that I was renewing my commitment to him and he blessed me in wonderful ways during my time as a Christian student. I learnt about the work of the Holy Spirit in new and very real ways in those years. I made lifelong friends who I still pray with and for. And, wonderfully, I was part of other people’s journeys to faith for the first time.
Fast forward 25 years of trying to follow God’s breadcrumb trail for my life, and I’m now ordained and working as a curate in Coventry. This isn’t something I would ever have dreamt I’d be doing but I can chart the path God has led me along towards it over the years and, as I look back, I know that it starts with my choice that October morning to get out of bed and go to church.
We all have decisions to make; some are super trivial, but some are life-altering and set a trajectory for the rest of our lives. For Abby, the action was simple, to get up and get to church, but what it meant was so much bigger and has lead to a life lived with Jesus.
What decisions are you going to make next term?