Let me introduce myself. My name is Leah, and I’m currently in my third year at university. Well, my third year *of* university. (It’s also my first and only year at uni in France). I am also a Christian. I go to Church on Sunday mornings. I go to CU. I try to make my faith known to other students, although admittedly I’m not that great at doing that. Being naturally quite shy doesn’t really help in that respect.
My aim in writing this blog is to help me. I’d like to be better able to focus on God in my life. If it takes being forced to regularly convert rambling thoughts on God, the Bible and Christianity in general into some form of coherent text, that’s fine by me. If it means that I’m better able to talk to others about my faith and relationship with God, even better.
Since coming to uni, I have also become more acutely aware of issues society has with various parts of the Christian faith and, indeed, religion more generally. I was brought up in a Christian household, and whilst I was aware that the vast majority of my friends did not hold the same views as me, I didn’t have to explain myself. I didn’t have to justify my beliefs to them in any way. I accepted them, and they accepted me. Most people at university have been very accepting and loving. But many more simply don’t understand how I can believe in what they view as a prescriptive, misogynistic, irrelevant fairy tale.
Many of my non-Christian friends are very cynical. It often seems like society as a whole is. And the answer is not necessarily reconciling my faith to the views of society. That seems a little counter-intuitive.
It’s hard to keep patient when I meet people like that. Sometimes it feels like the only thing I can say is “I don’t know”. There are few situations where I feel I actually know how to appropriately respond. I worry about turning potentially amazing conversations into how-many-Bible-verses-do-you-know matches. I realise that I have been incredibly lucky to have known Jesus’ love throughout my life, but it never really struck me until I arrived at uni just how many people seemingly either haven’t responded to the Gospel (through a lack of opportunity, or through choice), or more frustratingly, seem to ignore the amazing message of the Gospel for one verse that doesn’t fit in with their world view.
This all seems very negative. It’s important to remember that despite various issues, no matter whether they’re big or small, seemingly important or unimportant, God is still there. He is always there. And He should be the centre of everything I do. God is with me. God loves me. God cares about me. I need to remember that, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. Hopefully through doing this I’ll be better able to do so.
“ Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.” – Romans 12:2