How growing up in a Christian home isn't a 'boring testimony' at all
Mark’s story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of
To have parents that love Jesus and that prayed for me, that modelled the Christian lifestyle in front of me, that talked about God around the dinner table, opened the Bible with us... huge, absolutely massive for me
My name is Mark and this is my story.
So I grew up in a Christian family.
I was a pretty happy kid.
I grew up in a stable home.
I'm blessed to have parents that are still together.
I was a happy kid, loved sports.
I don't remember doing anything outrageous or crazy.
I would say that it took me until probably 11 years old to actually make a decision to make Jesus my Lord, and that happened through being at a Scripture Union camp.
I looked at the leaders and I thought, wow, look at the joy that they have, and look at the example to me of what it's like to live with Jesus at the centre of your life.
And I decided at that point actually that I'm not just being saved, I'm actually going to choose now to give my life wholly to Jesus.
I used to think that was quite a boring testimony, but actually, I remember someone told me, they said once, that to grow up in a Christian home means that you've had people praying for you since before you were born, and that just completely blew me away.
It would be amiss not to say things that when times when things have been difficult have been times of growth as well.
Times where I've suffered from anxiety or times where I've maybe gone through relationship breakdown.
So a lot of it for me came from basing my identity in my performance in school and up to the point of university, until I got to the point where my last set of exams where I just couldn't handle it.
God has shaped my perspective differently since that moment to where I've realised that I didn't do anything to earn His love in the first place, and so actually I can't do anything to lose it.
My faith has helped me hugely in that to know that I'm already completely loved and completely accepted in Jesus, and that God thinks the world of me before I even start out in a day.
I think it makes all the difference in the world.
To know that your guilt and your shame over the stuff that's happened in your past is actually completely removed, and that you don't have to live with that anymore, you don't have to carry that.
For me to know that my purpose is to know God, and to walk with Him, and to enjoy Him, it gives so much shape and definition and colour to my every day.
Every day can be an adventure.
Every day God can do something amazing and awesome through me or in me or around me, and that that's the big point of living.