Week 33 - "Coming to Church that day was really what got the ball rolling for me"

Ines is a student in Nottingham and this is her story of finding a Church and growing in faith whilst at Uni...

Jesus has been in my life as long as I can remember as I was brought up in a Christian home. I grew up going to Church every Sunday and attending Sunday school. So, I can definitely say Christ has always been in my life however I have not always been in His. My life with Christ was always one foot in and the other one out. I would always go to church on a Sunday, praise and worship God but then during the week, I was not living a life like Christ. I would live my life and try to fit in with the crowd. I found myself always looking and seeking for validation and acceptance from other people.

However, it was when I moved to University my personal journey with Jesus really started. I made it one of my goals to properly form a relationship with him and not just call upon him when I was in trouble. I created a wallpaper on my laptop with pictures of my goals when I started University and one of those was to get closer to God. I wasn’t reading the Bible that often so didn’t have a particular verse which was close to my heart, so I googled ‘Bible Scripture’ and picked one. It didn’t mean much to me, but I liked how it sounded so I put it on my wallpaper.

I remember one day just grabbing my Bible and not knowing where to start, so I prayed for God’s guidance. Then I just flipped through the pages and stopped when I felt prompted. The verse I stopped on was Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” When reading that I felt really seen by God and this motivated me to not continue walking down my own path but his. I decided I needed to find a church, and so I googled churches in Nottingham and found Trent Vineyard. I then attended the evening service that day after which the Student Pizza Night was also happening – which was a massive benefit for me as a student!

Coming to church that day was really what got the ball rolling for me; I felt peace and warmth, like God was happy to see me back home. After attending a few services, I kept hearing about Small Groups during the announcements, so I decided to join a Student one. I can honestly say that it gave me guidance on how I could build an even stronger relationship with God as I learned how to fast, about the gift of prophecy, as well as other ways I can serve God!

This made me to want to serve on the Kids' team which I have enjoyed every moment of! During Small Group we also did prayer sessions and one night I shared how I was going through a challenging time. Everyone gathered around me to pray and I can say that I have seen God deliver me in a mighty way since that night. I have come to learn that His grace can handle all of me. And each day God continues to shape my heart as I experience and understand more deeply of His approval and unchanging love for me in Christ.

A couple of months later as I had started reading the Bible more often, I went back to my laptop wallpaper to read the Bible verse I randomly chose when I began University. It turns out the verse on my screen was Proverbs 3:5-6, the same verse God first led me to! I could not stop crying that night because God had shown me how he is the Alpha and Omega; he has been there in all aspects of my life even when I did not know it. This was why I decided to get baptised and become a part of his family; Jesus has always been in my life but now I am in His and part of His family.

Every week of the academic year, we are sharing a story of student mission. If you have a story to share, let us know.

Ed Earnshaw

Student Mission Coach

Ed’s faith came alive at uni and he loves seeing students grow in boldness and faith. He believes students who have found hope in Jesus can change their campuses and cities, and this is why he is excited that he gets to coach churches and students to embrace lives of mission. 

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