My high school years were filled with a great joy and a great passion for God. After becoming a Christian in my early teens, I knew that God loved me, and knowing His love for me permeated everything I did. I became a more joyful version of myself. I continued to like all the same things – singing, dancing, friends, wanting to be a famous pop star – but everything I did as a teenage girl had an underlying joy in knowing God and His love. I was free! I knew that He loved me and that nothing could separate me from His love.
I went on quite a few camps and got involved in a Christian radio station in my hometown. This was my first Christian community and they really loved me and cared for me. I was a radio presenter and I loved it – I was passionate about Christian music so it was fantastic. I became a leader in the Christian group at school and everyone knew I was a Christian. I would get ridiculed a bit, but I really didn’t care – it really didn’t hurt me because I was so full of God’s love. It was such a great time.
But then, as I moved into adult life, more and more of a sense of legalism crept into my faith and I lost the joy that I first had. I know that underneath I still knew that God loved me and accepted me, but I started to become anxious about how I lived as a Christian, whether I was doing enough at church and being a good Christian. My faith started to have more of a sense of religion about it, which made me more anxious rather than joyful.
In that time I learnt a lot about the Bible and was involved in a lot of Bible studies, but I lost that underlying joy in God’s love. I knew that God wanted me to move into a different place at that time and so I prayed for a year about what I should do and where I should go. At the end of that year I moved to London and that’s been an amazing experience – as a result of moving I met my husband and we got married in 2008 – and part of the answer to that prayer was actually King’s Church, where we started going on Valentine’s Day 2010.
There was a progression before I came to King’s, where I had stopped focusing on the ‘works’ I was doing and started focusing again on God and His love and how amazing He is. Coming to King’s cemented that – I was looking for a combination of Bible teaching and this amazing focus on grace and on the Spirit, so King’s was really the church I had been looking for and needing in terms of encouragement and church community.
I’m so excited to get up and go to church and be involved in things. Because it’s such an encouraging place, anything you get involved in is a privilege. The leaders have been very gentle and very kind and gracious. It’s such a loving place, and that’s really helped me a lot. At King’s I have felt like I have got to know people in leadership and to feel really accepted for who I am.
As I have focused on the grace and mercy of God and what He’s done for us, I have come to feel again the joy in this most amazing of truths – that the God who created the snow capped mountains and the stars in the sky, cares for little me. And as I keep my focus on God and how amazing He is, I am naturally more of a blessing and benefit to others than I ever was when I was feeling anxious about it!