Meet Tim, 1st Year, Engineering, St Cuthbert’s.
I’m from Birmingham and I’ve lived in Singapore, Canada and America. I grew up in a Christian family, and my parents are missionaries so I’d heard the story of Jesus and God’s love for the world many times. And I decided to use my life to do things for Jesus. I led the CU in my school for a couple of years, played guitar in the band at church, and volunteered with churches in the holidays to put on clubs and community events. I gave and I did.
However, when I was 18 I crashed. I was at university studying medicine and burnt out. By Christmas in my first year I felt like I had no energy left, and I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. And I was confused.
I had a beautiful girlfriend, I’d smashed A levels and gotten into a great university, had some great career prospects, but honestly, I felt empty and hopeless. My life looked great. So how could I be feeling so empty? And I was a Christian (or my own version of one). Why was I feeling like this?
I dropped out of university and planned to take a few months out to rest. One evening I was lying on my bed, crying, so aware of the broken pieces of my life. I remember crying again and again, “I don’t know who I am’’. I felt abandoned by God and so alone. But I remember asking Jesus to help me. To save me.
The next year and a half wasn’t easy. I broke up with my girlfriend and decided not to go back to medicine. I still felt a lot of anger and sadness. But I had a strange feeling of God being with me. I met an older Christian couple in Lancashire who were there for me in my brokenness and helped me explore some of my questions of identity and shame.
I’d buried a lot of failure and anger, and a lot of shame of a porn addiction, but I met people who listened to me and loved me. I felt like God was telling me that the truth of his unconditional love applied to me too. I had nothing to offer but God gave me a new life and a real relationship with him. He totally changed my life direction.
I interned at a new church in Birmingham last year working with the students there who love Jesus and want to know him and live for him. I was stretched, emptied, filled and grown there, and God has been talking to me about who I am a lot this year.
God’s changed my understanding of what it is to live as a Christian a lot. It’s not a list of rules or a lifelong training course on good behaviour, but it’s a real relationship with my creator God, who knows me and loves me.
To me, being human means being vulnerable and honest with your greatest joys and your most awful messes and still being loved. I think at the heart of what it is to be human is to be totally known as you are and to be totally loved. And I definitely don’t have everything together now, but I know that God loves me unconditionally and is with me every day.
Tim's story interest you? Click here to read more about Human, coming soon!