My Jesus Story
by Charmain Hibberd
Marketing Assistant (Writer), CBN Europe
I believe that our Jesus story is the most important one we have to tell. Once a year I like to hit pause and remember the way that I became a follower of Jesus.
On March 12th 2006 at around 7:45pm, I made a commitment to surrender my life to Jesus.
Let me rewind a little…
I studied as an Actress in a drama school in Wales. These turned out to be 3 of the most difficult years of my life. You see, in the January of my first academic year, I received some devastating news – my Grandmother had died.
Losing grandparents is not necessarily something that hits everyone hard but, because of the social make-up of my family, my grandma played a huge part in raising me and being there for me as a maternal figure in my young life. When she died, it felt as though one of the safe places in my world had been taken away and I felt just that little bit more vulnerable.
After a couple of weeks of mourning, grieving and learning to let go of grandma, I and others around me noticed that the grey cloud above my head wasn’t seeming to move. I went to the Doctor for some advice and, after a few simple tests, I was diagnosed with depression.
Grandma’s death had turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
When she died, it felt as though one of the safe places in my world had been taken away and I felt just that little bit more vulnerable.
Unbeknownst to me, a new friend in my class was a Christian. Also unknown to me was the fact that this new friend, probably seeing the turmoil that I was in (and prompted by God) began praying for me.
Fast forward to year 3 of the course and I had become good friends with Cath and another girl named Sian. (Sian was another person on Cath’s prayer list and in our second year of studies, Sian had given her life to Jesus.)
Cath and Sian were pretty much my closest friends at this point in the course and both had gone away for the weekend on a Christian retreat.
Very cleverly, they both left me with two booklets.
Despite being on medication for the depression, I would still struggle with low mood from time to time and, with my two best friends away for the weekend and no plans to distract me from my reality, I found myself in my room alone with only these two booklets to keep me company.
I picked up the first one and it was called Reality Bites. This little booklet was all about being a student and the scrapes that you can get yourself into in this season of your life. The booklet talked about drinking culture, drugs and sleeping around as well as poor health and eating disorders. To my dismay, I saw an awful lot of myself in the reflection of this booklet and began to break down.
In need of some hope, I reached for the second booklet. This one was called ‘Lord, I said I wouldn’t fail you, but I did.’ Despite its bleak title, the booklet was actually all about being a new Christian and what it means to follow Jesus.
I devoured that booklet so quickly and was moved by the hope in Jesus that it professed.
Stubbornly, when my friends returned from their retreat, I don’t remember mentioning the affects that the two booklets had had on me to them and continued with my everyday student life.
To my dismay, I saw an awful lot of myself in the reflection of this booklet and began to break down.
The week following was one of the worst weeks of depression I had had in a long time and I remember getting to the Sunday of that week and Cath saying to me, “Charmain, why don’t you just come to Church? Just give it a try.” I thought to myself – what do I have to lose at this stage? Life was grim and I was clutching at straws so I decided to give this Church thing a go.
As I walked into the Church building, I was greeted by some very happy students who all seemed so radiant. The feeling in the building was one of warmth and peace and I remember thinking that I felt safe there.
Cath, Sian and I entered the main auditorium and the worship music kicked in. I slowly began to melt and the weight of the 3 years of studies I had experienced, along with the depression and loss of my grandma, all overwhelmed me at once and I began to sob.
Jesus moved in my life that evening at the Church event for students and I finally surrendered the notion that I could do this life alone. Through floods of tears, I said a prayer letting Jesus know that I wanted Him to come into my life and that I was done running.
A girl called Sarah went to get me a glass of water and with her she also brought a small glass of blackcurrant squash. She calmly and sweetly told me that I was like the glass of water before I came into the event that evening. But with Jesus’ Spirit now in me, I was now like the glass of squash – He would never leave me. He would never give up on me.
He would never leave me. He would never give up on me.
My Jesus Story
Friends, this is my story.
My story is still being written and, believe me, it has got some interesting twists and turns in it!
I tell you the testimony of how I came to know Jesus as my Saviour in the hopes that you too will give Him a chance.
This faith is not a crutch for hurting people, it is hard at times to stand strong in a faith that is opposed on what seems like every side by a very different world and culture. But there is nothing like knowing Jesus. He is the Author and Perfecter, the lover of our souls.
If you would like to explore faith further, why not find a local Church and ask them about it. Perhaps they run an Alpha course which is a series of meetings that enables you to ask any and all questions you may have about this thing called Christianity. Or even find a Christian friend and have a coffee. If your heart is beating out of your chest as you read this, take that as a sign and start talking.
Jesus is a gentleman. He stands at the door and knocks. He does not barge His way in. If you ever decide to open the door to Him, I promise you that a party like no other will be thrown in Heaven.