It’s my favourite time of the week, #FearlessFriday, where I share my friends’ testimonies on my blog. I love this guest posting series and I always find it really encourage to read everyone’s unique stories. Today, my housemate Lorna is sharing about how she began fixing her heart on God in her first year of university.
I was blessed enough to be raised in a Christian family. My parents taught me about Jesus and the bible from a young age. I never doubted what they told me, as any child wouldn’t doubt whatever their parents told them. God, however, didn’t become personal to me until I was 13. I was just lying in bed praying before I went to sleep, like a good girl, when I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit. It was incredible and the first time I’d ever really felt God’s presence. He became a lot more real to me after that. Although I was very much a confirmed Christian, that didn’t mean I had a very good understanding of Christianity really. God was there to help, support and comfort me and as long as I went to church and prayed every so often, that was fine for me.
It wasn’t until I came to university that things started to change. God was a massive part of encouraging me to go to university, I had been rejected from the two Scottish unis I had applied for and was left with my back up, Nottingham Trent. I really didn’t want to move that far away but after a lot of prayer I could feel God pushing me reluctantly towards it and moving to Nottingham was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I knew I wanted to get involved with the university’s Christian Union, but this wasn’t because I wanted to learn more, grow in my faith, or help the CU evangelise, no no I just wanted to make sure I’d have friends at uni. I had no intention of joining a church, despite what I’d told my Mum, sorry Mum. I thought church was fine, but it didn’t really excite me, I had a relationship with God so why did I need anything else?
However when I got to the CU things were a bit different than I expected. Yes, I managed to make friends, you’ll all be glad to know, but to my surprise, I saw everyone was really keen on finding churches. I obviously wanted to fit in, so went on the church searches and I found Cornerstone which took me by surprise because it was amazing.
I still felt a little bit of a fake for a while. Because I had come from a Christian family I thought there was an expectation that I would have really good bible knowledge and be really on it all, whereas actually what I knew was alright but still very limited. I also wasn’t living particularly well as a Christian, I would enjoy going out and getting drunk and wasn’t being the best representation of what a Christian is in front of my non-Christian friends. I sometimes got angry at God because I thought he was taking away my fun. But I could justify things I’d do by saying ‘well if I do something that’s not great, all I have to do is ask for forgiveness after’.
At some point in my second term of my first year, something in my head finally clicked. As much as I could lie to myself I realised I wasn’t happy with who I was being. So that’s when I actually started asking for forgiveness and genuinely regretting taking advantage of God’s grace. I started actively trying to live for Jesus and thanks to His grace I felt peace and my daily life felt so much more satisfying. I obviously still have my struggles from now and then but my heart is fixed on God.
Lorna Stirling is a third-year student studying Costume Design and Making from Scotland. She loves dressing up, pirates and the colour gold. She also has a keen interest in amateur dramatics. You can view her website here.