I was raised in a Christian home, and went to a Christian primary and high school. When I went to high school I started thinking about religion a bit more seriously, started reading my Bible a bit more seriously, started listening to Christian music, and went along to Bible studies. Although I did consider myself a Christian, I didn't really get what it meant.
But then I was blessed with the opportunity to go to a Christian youth conference in Budapest in 2013, and that was kind of the first time that I realised what Christianity could be. I looked around me and for the first time I saw kids my age, and adults, not just being Christians but actually on fire for Jesus. I realised that Christianity is about so much more than what I had been thinking previously. So then when I came home I started reading the Bible afresh, which was a really interesting experience. I’d read most of it before but remember very often thinking: “wait: this is what it says? That’s actually kind of amazing!” So I started realising that Christianity is way more important than I thought it was. Then I started questioning the basic things about Christianity, because I realised that if I was really going to believe this, it was going to change my life, and I figured that I wanted to build that on something solid. I really didn't want to believe because I wanted it to be true or because that's what I was taught when I grew up. I needed it to objectively be true.
So I read books and I did lots and lots of thinking about whether Jesus was real, about whether the Bible really makes sense, and whether it contradicts itself (all the fun stuff like that!). At some point in August 2015 I just sat down and surveyed all the evidence. I definitely didn’t have all the answers, but I did realise that the most important thing was true: Jesus was actually here, which is an objective piece of truth that I could hang on to. He was really here, he really died, he was really resurrected, which means God is real, which means his judgement is real, which means that I Iiterally have no other choice but to repent and be reconciled to God through Jesus. So I did, and it did change my life!
I started with that teeny tiny little truth, although it’s massively important, and I've been building on that ever since, growing and trusting God more and more. Although I kind of started out believing because I knew that was the only option for me, it has grown into something so much more than that. The more I live with him, each day I realise it makes so much sense with how I seem to work, and that the Christian life is so much more amazing and joyful than any other way of life. It doesn't always feel that way, but that’s where faith comes in: it’s the “art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted despite your changing moods and circumstances,” as C.S. Lewis put it. So that was August 2015, the summer before I went to uni.
Then I went to uni where I was involved with the Christian Union, talked to my friend's about Jesus, but still very much saw faith as something I did on my own. It was me and God, and sort of peripheral. I graduated and in September I came here to Globe, well, mostly for my masters, but also came to Globe! I’m really happy that I found it, because I’ve been learning so much about community and the amazing place that it takes in our faith and how important it is. Since coming to Globe I’ve been growing so much and in so many different ways, which has been amazing. So although I did think about making a public declaration of faith before, I never saw why it was important, because faith was mostly something I did on my own anyway. But as I was growing in my understanding of church community, I realised that God has given baptism for a reason: it’s to sustain the church and build it up; it’s to show the world what’s happening, and to really make it public. So that’s why I’m here today, to public celebrate God’s love for us and for me.