He has protected me and guided me in every step of my journey. He has made me the person I am today.Ellie Thompson
Hi, I’m Ellie and this is my story…
I’m not like many other people that can describe a particular moment or event in their life where they came to know Christ. I’ve known God all my life; I went to church weekly, my parents ran all the kids clubs, I’ve grown up hearing Bible stories and listening to worship music. I was doing all the right things, and yet part of me still felt like there was something missing, like I didn’t quite understand what it actually meant to be a Christian. And I didn’t. Well, not completely anyway… I thought being a Christian just meant going to church and praying and that was that, no big deal. Of course, those things are important, but being a Christian is far more than that. I grew to understand that it is also about (to mention only a few) knowing God’s unconditional love for me, loving Him and putting my trust in Him. It’s not just about the physical things I do from day to day but also about my understanding and acceptance of His love for me.
There was a point in my life when my faith deepened. Many of you reading this will know of the Christian youth festival, Soul Survivor, this has been the place where I’ve felt closest to God. I’ve been going to these camps since I was 7, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that they really connected with me.
Witnessing so many people giving their lives to Christ is the most heartwarming experience as a Christian, the best thing you could hope for and seeing their new love for God is so inspiring. The atmosphere during the worship is beyond anything you could imagine, it shows just how strong the love is that thousands of people in the room have for Christ, and I tend to feel like every time we worship, it strengthens my love for Him too. Being around so many other people my age that were all expressing their love for God made me want to express mine more and more. I would talk about things I normally wouldn’t, get involved in things I also normally wouldn’t and overall would be someone I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t been there.
I now look forward to the camps every year – and not just because of the parties – but because it is a chance to get to know other Christians, to hear their stories, their experiences or to simply discuss and show my faith to my friends who are not Christians (which hasn’t always been easy for me). I have always believed but I haven’t always been able to talk to people about my beliefs. Seeing so many people, just like me, showing the world how they feel about God encourages me to do the same.
Romans 8:18 [NIV]
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
I’ve always struggled to understand why certain things happen; why people become ill or why people suffer, I would say that is my biggest challenge in my faith and I think it affects a lot of other people too. But I’ve also felt God’s presence strongly throughout many times in my life; times when He has given me direction, when He has taken away illness or when He has brought me hope, often unexpectedly but when I need it the most. The things that stand out the most, for me, is the times when things haven’t happened as I planned for them to and yet the outcome has been far better than I could have imagined. I’ve faced some pretty rough illnesses in my life that some may describe as unfair or cruel but if I had the chance to rewind and never have the illness, I wouldn’t. I would re-live it all over again if it meant that I could meet the people I have and have the experiences I’ve had. At the time, I might have thought that God was punishing me, because that is a common thought from people in a crisis, but every part of it has made me a better person. I like to remind myself of the poem ‘Footprints’ by Margaret Fishback Powers, where she describes God telling His people that through our hardest times, He carries us. He controls my life in the best way possible. He knows the plans He has for me. He loves me and He has protected me and guided me in every step of my journey. He has made me the person I am today.
I think the beauty of Christianity is that even through our toughest times, we can stay calm and know that God has everything under control.
We hope that you loved reading Ellie’s story and seeing how God has been working through her and in her life. Remember that your story has value and has so much power. Whatever your story is, tell it with confidence, knowing that the Creator of the universe designed it uniquely for you. Your story is so very important and so very special. It makes you who you are and has the power to change lives. Be proud of your journey and proud of your story.