“Until the age of 15, I’d always been a very strong atheist; I wanted nothing to do with any kind of religion, and was convinced that anyone who bought into it must have been indoctrinated or tricked in some way. So, when I ended up with a close group of Christian friends at school, I was desperate to try to convince them that they were wrong. I knew very little about their beliefs, though, so I decided to read up on Christianity so that I could argue against them better.

To my horror, I found that the more I read about the Christian faith, the more I wanted it to be true; I went from seeing Jesus as a historical figure to seeing him as someone I wanted to know. I saw my friends sustained by their faith through some of the most difficult circumstances, and I began to think that there must be some truth in what they believed. Otherwise, why would this be having such a great impact on their lives? I also read ‘Mere Christianity’ by C.S. Lewis, and was amazed at his ability to give a rational argument for having faith in God. I was worried though; I didn’t want to have to admit I was wrong, or to let my family down, all of whom are atheists, so I ignored this growing sense of longing for God.

This, however, wouldn’t last for long. At the beginning of the summer of 2012, the band I was in was heading to Birmingham to play at a music festival. My best friend, who was struggling with anxiety and depression, had a severe panic attack that left her very distressed and completely withdrawn. She was unable to communicate with any of us, and before, when she’d had panic attacks at school she’d have to go home to recover. I knew from experience that there was nothing I could do to help her, but something prompted me to pray; if this God I’d been reading about really existed, then I knew He could help my friend. I really wasn’t expecting anything to happen, but the change in her was amazing. Within moments, it was as though the fear and sadness had lifted. I’d never seen her as joyful as she was on that day, it was honestly just incredible. Looking back, we both consider this moment the beginning of her recovery from anxiety and depression.

I knew that God had intervened: that He was real, and loved me, and cared for me and my friend enough to set her free from something that had affected her life for so long. And so, on the way home from Birmingham, I decided to give my life to Jesus.

It’s been the steepest learning curve possible, and there have been really difficult times along the way, but in everything God has been so faithful, and incredibly gracious. I’ve discovered a love for scripture, and for exploring it with others, and have come to know and love Jesus more through helping others to know Him too. God has taken me from being a painfully shy, very anxious teenager, to someone who is confident that my identity is in Christ, and is committed to sharing His love with others.”

Molly is currently studying at Regent’s Park College and is on long-term placement with us here at Headington Baptist Church.

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