Nathan is a student in Nottingham and this is his story of coming to faith whilst at university...
Despite Growing up in a Christian home, I never really developed a faith of my own. I always felt something was missing but quite simply put, I wanted to live my life my own way without any input from God or anyone else.
As a teenager, I wanted nothing to do with church and was intentionally antagonistic to anyone who tried to talk to me about it. When university came around, I thought I’d finally escaped any form of Christian influence, until during my first week of Uni my flatmate announced he’s a Christian and that he’s going to church on Sunday.
I was furious. I rolled my eyes at my deep misfortune and then went on to ask him the hardest questions I could think of as often as I could. Nonetheless, I admired the commitment to love God and it left a lasting impression on me.
All the same, I continued to push boundaries and do whatever I pleased though over time this way of life started to take a major toll on me mentally. It was like my reckless living was taking little bits of me away leaving me feeling emptier and emptier - completely disillusioned, bitter and hopeless.
After enough low points, encouraged by Christian friends, I finally bit the bullet and decided to go to church. I started reading the gospels for the first time in my life and almost instantly felt a personal connection with Jesus and the things he taught. How could a man from 2000 years ago be able to touch my heart in that way? I found myself blown away by what Jesus had to say about life. I was amazed by his wisdom and wished I’d been humble enough to turn to him sooner.
As I started coming to church, I started to see my character and priorities change for the better. For the first time in years I began to feel sustained joy again. My perspective on life was so different that I found myself describing my old life before Jesus in the 3rd person because it just wasn’t me anymore.
I’m a long way from perfect - I know I’ll never be - yet I’m so much more hopeful and joyful than I’ve ever been. That’s why I recently decided to get baptised: because Jesus has changed my life for the better which I’m eternally grateful for. I wouldn’t trade this joy and hope that I’ve found in him for anything in this world.