I never really thought I would live in London; I am a country girl.
My hometown is Brighton and I used to look out of my bedroom window and see the sea. From the bright, colourful town to the bustling Brighton pier, with squawking seagulls nicking your fish and chips. I never wanted to leave.
But when I looked around Kings College University, it changed my whole perspective.
Here I am now, in my second term of university studying physiotherapy and I love living in London. There is never a dull moment and it’s always bustling with people and things to do. Boredom is never an option. Many of the places I’ve seen on TV or in films are directly at my front door – it is amazing! I now look out of my bedroom window and see the Shard.
Initially, the idea of moving away from home scared me. How was I possibly going to fend for myself? I had only just learned how to use the washing machine! But I am managing and it is great fun. Yes, there are days where I come home from back-to-back lectures and realise I still have to study, wash, clean and cook as well as find time for socialising and sleep, and this can be tiring and stressful. But it soon becomes second nature.
I remember the first night I moved in. My parents had gone home and there was this rather surreal feeling. I walked into my flat, ready to just get into bed and was bombarded with about 25 people in my kitchen! One of my flat mates (who I hadn’t met yet) was throwing a party, and I just panicked. I remember lying in bed, with music blasting loudly, thinking ‘oh my word is this what I have to deal with for a year?’ But despite this noisy start, Fresher’s week turned out to be a great way to make new friends. The CU ran loads of events that week that I got stuck into and this was where I discovered ChristChurch London.
The people I met at ChristChurch London were so welcoming and friendly and I instantly felt encouraged and calm about being a Christian in London. One of the mistakes I think I made during school and college was not telling enough friends that I am a Christian. The idea terrified me and I was too worried about being judged. However, starting university was a fresh start for me and I was determined to tell more people about my faith. The first time I told my friends I was a Christian wasn’t even intentional. I had just come back from the CU “Church Finding Picnic” and my flatmate asked where I had been. This conversation led onto talking about Christianity. After this, I felt more and more encouraged to talk openly about my faith and the easier it has become.
I found I didn’t need to throw Christianity in people’s faces.
I love Galatians 2:20 which says ‘’I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” This verse tells me that people around me should see a little part of Christ in me. I found this to be true. My friends have noticed these things and it draws them to ask questions about my faith. One of my friends actually asked to come to church with me and they ended up really enjoying it.
God can use us in so many ways and I am so excited to see how he will use me, and ChristChurch London, in this crazy city of ours.