I have always believed in Jesus but had never really understood "the Cross", until about the end of 2001. After hearing the Gospel message on the TBN channel, my eyes were opened and I finally "got it". I realised that Jesus' death on the cross was the price he was willing to pay for all my sins, because of his love for me, so I prayed for Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life.
I would describe my Christian life as a battle, as over the years, I have begun to see what changes needed to be made and this has often been difficult, as there were some things I didn't want to change and other things which I felt I was powerless to change. At the start, I battled with giving up drinking, then later on the battle involved anger and pride; now my struggles are against guilt, shame, anxiety and selfishness. There have been times when I have felt as if I have been touched by God and other times when I felt like I had blown it and that God couldn't possibly want me anymore. Yet, over the years, I can look back and see real progress. I can see now that God helped me to give up some things which were really bad for me, even though, at the time, I did not want to give them up. I am now grateful that He did and I believe that some of my desires have changed. There have also been times when I have prayed and asked God for specific things and the opportunity or situation that I have prayed for has been put right in front of me.
I didn't do anything worthy of God's mercy before I became a Christian and the only thing I had to offer God was a complete mess and a lifetime of sin, selfishness and bad decisions. Yet, when I realised what Jesus had done for me I jumped straight in and it was He who helped me to change and gave me the strength to do it. My part was to ask for forgiveness, ask for help, trust and follow Him. I still struggle and often feel like I am not good enough, especially when I make a mess of things, remember the past or compare myself to other Christians. However, I have to keep reminding myself that my relationship with God is based on Jesus' righteousness and not my own. Jesus has done it all and I couldn't do anything to please God without Him.
It's great to belong to a church in the community where I live and I am really happy to have found St. Andrew's. I believe this is a place where I can grow closer to God, learn to depend on Him and become fruitful, all because of His Love, His Grace and His Mercy.
Jesus is Lord.