He invited me to church. I thought it was a strange thing to do but went along anyway
My name is Jon. I’m 34 years old, married and have two small children. I grew up in Hampshire and had a happy secure upbringing.
At 18, I went to Sheffield University and loved it there – doing plenty of hiking in the Peak District and generally embracing the student lifestyle of drinking, clubbing and living in the here and now.
At the end of my second year, I drank so much one night I passed out. For the first time in my life, I started to think – what was I doing with my life? Is there more to life than this?
The next day I went to visit my brother at Cambridge University. We had a great couple of days together and then on Sunday he invited me to church. I thought it was a strange thing to do but went along anyway.
Whilst at church, I was struck by his Christian friends who were vibrant and seemed to have a true happiness. This made me want to know more about Christianity.
When I went back to Sheffield for my final year, I went along to a course at a local church. The course explained the Bible and what it says about Jesus.
I made friends with the people running the course, started going along to church on Sundays and playing in the church football team.
As time went by I became more troubled as I found that, however hard I tried, I kept doing things that I didn’t want to do.
I knew these things contradicted what I had learned about Jesus and the Bible. But I felt trapped – it was like I was a slave to my lifestyle.
At that time I was struck by reading a book called Mere Christianity. In this book, the great novelist and essayist CS Lewis says that Jesus doesn’t give us the option of simply thinking he was a good teacher – either he is the Son of God or he is a liar.
By reading more of the Bible, I came to realise that Christianity stood or fell at the death and resurrection of Jesus. If it wasn’t true, I could forget it altogether and carry on with my lifestyle. But if it was true then everything needed to change and I needed rescuing.
I realised that although believing and trusting in Jesus seemed like a leap of faith, for me it was an even greater leap of faith not to believe and trust him – with the consequences being eternal.
And so, a week before my 21st birthday, I asked Jesus to forgive me and be my Saviour and Lord.