Head off to uni with high hopes of conquering it for Jesus? There's hope if everything didn't all go to plan because Jesus loves to restore us when we feel most broken. Like with Dan.
Hi I’m Dan and I’ve just finished my first year of university. I have to say it’s being the most amazing year of my life.
my service to God was born out of a fear of punishment.
I became a Christian when I was 17 but my service to God was born out of a fear of punishment. I went to university thinking that I would stay away from the clubbing and the alcohol. I managed this for the first few days but after that I totally went off course; the things I said I wouldn’t do I ended up doing and even worse things. I went into what seemed like an endless cycle of sin, even though I wanted to get out, I felt like I was trapped.
I knew that I didn’t love God and I couldn’t see how He could love me
This went on until the second term when my housemate invited me to a CU meeting where I heard about The City Church Canterbury and I was invited to join a small group. During one of our cell meetings we were singing a song about loving God and His love for us. I sat there unable to sing with everyone because I knew that I didn’t love God and I couldn’t see how He could love me as I had sinned so much. I spoke to my cell leader Dave (who God has used so greatly in my life and I thank God so much for him) and he told me that Jesus didn’t love us based on how well we did but that he loved us regardless of how many times we messed up. That was such an amazing thing to hear for me because I always thought God only loved us if we did well.
The next few days I asked God to show me how much he loved me and during a meeting God brought to my mind Ephesians 3:18 where Paul talks about the depths of God’s love and then I saw a picture of a girl in the sea trying to get to the bottom of it but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t do it because the sea was to deep. I think God was trying to show me that no matter how hard I tried to understand how much He loved me I would not be able to do it because his love is too deep. That’s why it says in Ephesians 3:19: “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” A joy like never before rose up in me, that night I couldn’t even sleep because I was so excited about what God had shown me. God had filled me up with a joy that I had never felt before; I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and laughing.
I stopped serving him out of a fear of punishment and instead served out of love; he completely changed my heart
After this event my relationship with God totally changed, I stopped serving him out of a fear of punishment and instead served out of love. I was able to talk to my friends about my faith, something I never thought would happen again because I had been so scared to do it. I actually loved reading my Bible and praying and I enjoyed going to church. I would wake up early on a Sunday morning just so I could help with setting up the things needed for the service. God brought great brothers and sisters in Christ into my life who I was able to rely on for encouragement and wisdom when I needed it. I learnt to rely on God’s grace to obey him rather than trying to do it in my own strength. The changes God did in me were really amazing; he completely changed my heart. I definitely can’t say that I’m a perfect Christian, actually I’m totally far from it, I still mess up quite a lot but now I know Jesus loves me regardless of how well I do and nothing can separate me from His love. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love…” Romans 8:38. I know now that the love of God is deeper than our sin and this is what now motivates me to serve him.
Want to make the right waves as you start at uni? Go deeper in your relationship with Jesus and the rest will follow. Go deeper at church and your relationship with Jesus will follow. Uni_Connect
If you feel things could have gone better since you started uni it’s not to late to find Jesus in a great church.
As Dan’s been pretty open about stuff we’ve changed his name to give him a break.