It was the summer of 2016, my first year at a new summer camp, and I was sitting in the back row of Thursday's evening meeting. We'd just finished singing and the Bible passage had been read. I was probably thinking back to the incredible meal we'd just been served, when three leaders walked onto the stage to perform a sketch.
This had become standard over the last couple of meetings, so at first I didn't think much of it. I was surprised, then, when they acted out a short metaphor for Jesus's sacrifice. This intrigued me more than the previous days and it drew in my interest for the main talk.
I'd always thought I had a 'good enough' faith thanks to growing up in a Christian family, but when the main talk started, I felt for the first time that the words being spoken were important to me. For the first time, I saw Jesus's death as more than just a sad story; that event from 2000 years ago had an effect on my life today! After leaving that talk, I bought a book from the book stall and I felt encouraged and prepared to face the daunting task of daily Bible reading. I thought that was it, my spectacular moment of understanding God had happened!
I was, of course, wrong. That feeling only lasted for a few weeks. Before too long I was back at school, worrying about homework and other stuff and had pushed God into a box at the back of my mind that I only dusted off once a week at church.
Over the next few years, my relationship with God started to feel like a time loop: Every year I would return to camp for a week, buy a book, and feel that same excitement and encouragement about God, only to drift away a few weeks later.
Much like most time loop films, though, there was a beacon of hope, a way out. Each year, as I returned to camp, I learnt things about God that I'd never noticed before, and each time I came away with a greater sense of God's love for us and how we should live our lives as examples of that. It was through both camp and church that I saw where I was going wrong, and learnt why I should stop rejecting God's teaching. Looking back, it wasn't until after three years of this cycle that I could begin to comfortably say that I was a Christian, accepting God's love and living by his word.
The time since then hasn't been without trouble, as I do still often find that I let life get in the way. I still have worries and I still face situations that I'd much rather avoid, but it's much easier to get through them knowing that God is there for me constantly.
I'm still realising how much I underestimated the amount my faith could growth. Since moving to London a year ago, The Globe Church has taught me so much about living out God's word in a generous and loving way through both the teaching and the incredible church family. Summer camps have also continued to be a huge encouragement for me and always come as highlight of my year.
God has given me so much to be thankful for and has shown me his amazing love in so many wonderful ways, and I can't wait to learn more in the years ahead of me!