I have the privilege of having been brought up in a Christian home and going to church since birth. Growing up, I always considered myself be a Christian but when I reached 11 years of age I hit a problem. I wanted to be like my school friends and play football on a Sunday but that wasn’t allowed because I had to go to church. I started to have doubts about what I had been taught in Sunday school. It had always been taught that God loved me but now I was unhappy and felt like church was a burden – I certainly did not feel like I was loved by God.
One day I was listening to the words of the hymn, ‘How deep the Father’s love for us’. These lyrics impacted me, in particular the end of the second verse:
‘It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life – I know that it is finished.’
I realised that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, and all the head knowledge that I had been taught over the years now became personal. In my mind Jesus didn’t just die for sinners, I knew He died for me. I prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to save me from my sin. There wasn’t an instant change in my behaviour and sadly my life didn’t always reflect my faith.
Not long after my profession of faith our family moved to Liverpool where I was welcomed into a group of Christian friends who helped me develop more in my walk with God.
At the age of 18 when I was serving my apprenticeship in carpentry and I backslid. I got caught up in the party and drinking lifestyle, as I tried to fit in with my colleagues. 9 months later, during the recession I was laid off but thankfully I was employed by a Christian builder. During this time I was convicted of my lifestyle and I again turned to God for forgiveness. Having repented from my sinful ways and I have grown in the Lord since then, and continue to do so.