Anna Redmond

Birmingham, UK

The Greatest Gift

Three years ago I arrived at Birmingham University!! At that point I felt like gaining a degree was the next best thing towards gaining success. I didn’t know what I thought about God then, and I hadn’t really given what I believed much thought at all. However, one of my flatmates said she wanted to find a Church she could attend during her time at Uni. This stood out to me. I’d been to Church as a child, with school, at Christmas and Easter, but had never chosen to go for myself.

With it being Fresher’s week and giving everything a go, I went along to Church with my flatmate. I really enjoyed it! I found learning about God very interesting. I felt more welcome there than anywhere else during Fresher’s week, and something I noticed most was that the people I met had such security, faith and joy, not in themselves, but in God. This was something I realised I didn’t have, and was something I not only wanted, but really needed.  

Midway through my first year I went along to a week of talks surrounding some of the big questions about Christianity. During the last talk of the week as I was listening to the speaker, all that I had learnt from Church and my Christian friends fell into place. I knew that God loves me. God loves me so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die on a cross in order that all the things that I had done in my rejection of God, no longer separated me from him.   

I was invited at the end of the evening with others to pray and ask for forgiveness, and to invite Jesus into my life. I did, and it is the most amazing decision I have made. I felt God’s presence, joy and peace in my heart. My life went from being someone who was insecure, and desperately trying my best to please others for self-assurance, acceptance, and success, to knowing I am fully accepted, and loved by God. A love that I couldn’t earn, but is a gift that I had chosen to receive, and a gift that I can now share that with others.   

Of course there are still challenges I face in my life, but I know that in Jesus I have hope in those challenges and situations, and I know he won’t leave me. Following Jesus is the most amazing adventure, and has definitely led me to do things I never expected!

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