Testimony Tuesday - Caleb
I was brought up in a loving and caring christian family. I was born in London but have travelled around the world because of my Dad’s job. My Dad worked in finance for an oil company which meant we moved to different countries every couple of years. My Mum gave up her career in telecommunications to bring up my sisters and I. I always found it quite easy to make friends growing up and made great relationships which unfortunately had sudden closures as it was hard to stay in touch with friends when I moved out of the country. I always found myself in the popular groups in school and managed to always fit in but somehow still felt incomplete.
I never talked to my friends about my faith when I was younger, as I never felt the need to. I believed I would fit in more if I acted the same as everyone else. I attended church every week with my family like every other christian family and heavily participated in the activities offered for the children. I was really good at learning scripture and recalling famous passages in the Bible but never actually knew God personally. Church for me then was more like a routine that I just followed and didn’t understand that I of all people could have a relationship with him. My perspective of God was that he only does miraculous works in adults who I perceived as pure. I didn’t believe God could love a sinner like me and I felt like I would never be good enough. God has helped me see that no one is perfect and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
When I was 13, God became more than just a distant figure. It started when I attended a boys christian camp in Devon which a member of St Aldates told me about. This camp enabled me to associate with like minded people and grow in my christian faith. After this camp, I was changed. I started reading my Bible more frequently and I was more aware of God’s presence. Unfortunately, after some time I started to revert back to my normal ways as I lacked community with fellow believers in Christ. This was not helped by the fact that no one in my year in school was a christian. A year after this, I went to Soul Survivor which gave me a renewed experience of God. During the festival, I broke down in tears twice while experiencing the Lord’s compassion and grace. This experience steadied me once again in my walk with Christ. Yet this time it was different because not long afterwards I started going to the boys small group every Wednesday. This kept the fire inside me going.
Through knowing God I have been given a deep sense of peace and trust in him which has carried me through my lows. I worry about things a lot and I am learning to cast my burdens unto God. I often find it hard to put all my trust in him in certain situations but reading the bible more and more has helped me further rely on God. I realise this is a journey and I look forward to seeing how God is going to use me as I mature in him. Growing up, I was quite shy and only felt comfortable around my family and friends. I am now increasing in confidence as I am reassured of God’s love.
'The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.'
-Numbers 6: 24-26
As a teenager, there have been many situations where I could do what I thought was fun or cool with no accountability. I found it very easy to follow what everyone around me was doing instead of doing the right thing. As time has passed, God has given me the ability to separate myself from the crowd. It is now more important for me to please God than humans. The Holy Spirit guides me in everyday decisions constantly convicting me to do the right thing.
Growing up I have realised that I often want to do things my way and in my own time. This has caused numerous disputes with my family and is one of my bad characteristics. I often want things my way without consideration for the opinions of others. This is one thing God is helping me tackle.
God has given me patience. When I used to pray asking God for something, I expected God to act right away and didn’t realise that it was not the right time. I have now understood that God works in his own perfect time.
I’ve found it harder and harder as I’ve gotten older to rely on God’s strength to carry me through tough times as I always rush to fix the situation on my own first before asking anyone else to help me. This is a problem that has sometimes left me frustrated and alone as I feel like I can’t turn to anyone for help without them judging me. However, reading God’s word has helped me rely less on my own strength but letting God steer my life.
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'
God has given me a purpose and an example through Jesus of how to live. Without the Lord in my life I would be lost with no sense of direction or meaning in life. If God can reach out to a helpless sinner like me then can reach out to you too.