Having grown up in church, I automatically assumed I was a believer and had secured a place in heaven. Growing up, I was part of different ministries, serving in different capacities but for the wrong reasons. Deep down I still felt empty, I saw it as things I “ought to do” as a Christian and not things I wanted to do because of Christ. I smoked, drank, clubbed, used vulgarities and was in unequally yoked relationships. I hid all this from my parents at the time, all while proudly proclaiming myself a Christian. I carried 2 different personas in church and out of church. 

In the army, I hit my lowest point spiritually. Cut off from the church both because of duties, not having to accompany my parents anymore, I started missing church entirely. It was a toxic cycle of a self-centred life. Still thinking myself a Christian I felt that I had nothing else to really live for. It was in an exercise in Australia when my armoured vehicle was stranded that I finally thought of my own mortality. Freezing and lost, I thought back on my life choices, how much of a hypocrite I was and if I died would I be with Christ. It was then and there that I truly knew what it meant to have a faith of your own and not your parents. I pleaded with God for forgiveness and thanked Him for His everlasting mercy and the new life He gives. Returning to church, God also used the leaders in my care group, The Fossils, who never gave up on me and really showed me Christ’s love through their actions and constant encouragement. 

I’m definitely still growing but there’s a huge difference in my desires. Many of the things that I used to enjoy doing pale in comparison to the joy of serving and obeying Him. Old habits became struggles and struggles turned into victory. Looking back at 2017, there is nothing else to say but to Praise God alone for the transformation in my life (2 Corinthians 5:17) There’s a greater joy now in denying my own wishes to do what He wants. There is a great delight in every opportunity to serve Him. I have just one life and it’s a life where my greatest joy is serving Him and my greatest desire is to risk it all for Him.