I first came to Globe August 2019, basically because Phil Tinker’s dad told me to. I’ve been a Christian for 3 ½ years and there is so much I could share about the way God has been working in my life. But I wanted to share with you the weird and wonderful way God connects us all as brothers and sisters and how important the church family has been to me which is also what lead me here today.
I grew up in a non-Christian household, although my Grandparents were Christians. I was christened at birth and went to a Christian primary school, so I always knew who Jesus was, knew the bible stories, learnt the Lord’s prayer by heart etc but this all ended at secondary school.
Fast forward 8 years to when I was 19. In 2015 I started my first year at the University of Leeds. It was not a brilliant year for me. I had been struggling with an eating disorder for 2 years and found it was now making my life difficult plus like many I was feeling homesick. One evening my flatmate and I went to a quiz night at a church over the road. I started chatting to a lady called Katherine about Jesus and I was curious to know more about why he is so significant. We met regularly at her home to go through the book "Uncover John". She kindly took me to a Christian Union and to her church and introduced me to her friends - who also happened to be the lovely Joe and Katia Smith. I began going to their church Redeemer and remember enjoying it but didn’t really know why. Looking back, I could really see how God was laying the foundations in this year. It was also the first time I felt people being really generous towards me even though they didn’t really know me. Once again though, this ended here.
The next 12 months were hardest of my life. I went through 2 months of depression after a family incident. Turning to drink and smoking cannabis as a way of coping. I was still battling my eating disorder as well. Fortunately, I stopped the drinking/smoking to focus on my health and moved to Hull for my placement year. After some time, I found that I began to feel low again, my job was stressful, and I felt lonely. So where do you turn when you need help? – you go to doctors. What did my doctor suggest? – to go to church. So, I did and went to Riverside Church which was in the primary school next to my flat and honestly it was like God was there welcoming me with open arms. Everyone was just so friendly and welcoming, and it was just what I needed at the time. Then I started going to the evening service and to student group down road at St John’s (which happens to be where Phil Tinker's dad preached before he retired). I no longer felt alone in Hull, God really gave me a huge support network with everyone really being there for me when I needed it. I also remember thinking that everyone was happy, and I wanted this so badly. Like before, I met regularly with a friend to work through a book called "Essentials" and this was the first time I really began to understand who Jesus was. It was on one particular meeting that I just simply believed and wanted to live for Christ. It instantly felt like a weight off my shoulders. I didn’t have to worry about life anymore as God was in control. After that I began feeling so much happier and even began making the steps to recovering from my eating disorder.
My final year of university was then the best year of my life so far. It felt less stressful with God guiding me through, and because I didn’t worry about life or struggle with the eating disorder, I became so much closer to my friends. I went back to Redeemer and the C.U. It was great seeing old faces and new faces again, including the lovely Naomi Slade-Walker. Once again God provided that network around me.
I wanted to get baptised because it was something I have been thinking about since I became a Christian. I remember thinking it was really cool as a new Christian and wanted to be baptised at some point (just not yet). There was then a baptism service in Leeds and it showed me just how God has worked in these people. It was was on my mind again. So, when Jonty asked if I would like to be baptised I felt that Globe was the right church for me, particularly with so many links to my northern churches. Spending some time with the baptism studies and reflecting how God has worked in my life, I feel excited for the next stage of his plan.