To kick-start my Lent series, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about my Christian faith and the significance of Lent to this, therefore why I have decided to become a vegan for this period of time…
I am Protestant Christian – when I lived in London I attended a Baptist church with my parents and when we moved to Nottingham in 2009 we started going to a Church of England parish church (it’s pretty cool: it’s over 800 years old!), and I have been regularly attending ever since. ⛪️
So, I was born and brought up in a Christian family, and you could say that I was very fortunate in that throughout my childhood, because not until I went to secondary school, did anyone really question my faith, and my parents could always answer any questions about being a Christian which I may have had. I also had a few serious operations on my leg when I was 9 and 10, so the fact that they went so well made me think that there may be a higher being somewhere out there (God) answering all of the generous prayers of my family and friends from church about it.
However, it was not until I was a little bit older that I really started contemplating my own Christian faith and the significance of Jesus in my life. When I was 13 I was invited by a good church friend of mine to attend a CPAS Venture: a Christian summer camp in Whitby. It was then that God’s love for me and His power real shone upon me, and this was particularly reassuring after such a tough year I had had at my new school (I was such an awkward teenager – still am now tbh!). The leaders at this camp were so nice and prayed with me that my situation would change and, with time, it did! Year on year through going to these various camps my faith got stronger and stronger, and meeting other Christians my age further assured me that becoming a Christian was something that I was really serious about.
I would seriously recommend CPAS camps for any children age 8 – 18 in the UK (or any European countries reasonably close to the UK) who are Christians or who are interested in Christianity as a possibility. Take a look at their website to learn more – they are SUCH fun! I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am today in my faith if I hadn’t started going to these – could not recommend them enough.
Anyways, I was confirmed at a local church when I was 16 – where I basically “confirmed” following my baptism that I do believe in God as my creator and redeemer, and that I would not consider being of any other faith therefore.
I have found that in every life-crisis type of situation which I have found myself in, I have always found God in the midst of it, helping me to get through it – this is where “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)” really becomes relevant. Another Bible verse which has really helped me so far along this journey of faith is “For we walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)” which basically means that even if it doesn’t seem like God is there, he sure is! I’d say that these two are definitely my favourite Bible verse.
I also find that the Bible also gives us much well-needed guidance in life. For instance, morals. I find that 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 is particularly good here – its all about how we should love each other: not just our romantic partners, but in every sense of the word. Another one is Joshua 1:9, which again reinforces the fact that God has such infinite power: “Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. [TLB]”.
I am hoping this summer to, for the first time, volunteer as a leader at a camp which I have previously attended as a member. I think that this will be a wonderful opportunity, as I will have the chance and honour of helping others who are younger than myself in their faith in God. I am so excited about this, as it is something I have been wanting to do for a while now!
Lent is an important time in the Christian calendar – not only because it is the period leading up to Easter 🐣, but also because it is a reflective period for Christians: it commemorates the 40 days (and nights) Jesus was fasting in the wilderness, sleeping rough and being tempted by Satan to turn away from God. Interestingly, German for Lent is die Fastenzeit (fasting + time), which really reflects this meaning!
I you’d like to know how to keep up your faith no matter what is happening in your life, I’d really recommend using Bible reading notes, as well as a Bible translation/version which is easy to understand: The Message is an amazing translation, and I find that it really speaks to me as I read it. I find the Engage notes written by the Good Book Company such a lovely resource to use as a guide for reading the Bible, and they’re also very good for young people (although I think they’d be suitable for anyone to be honest), as they go into enough depth without being too boring! Prayer journals are also amazing resources to use if you want to record your prayers and then look back on them in the future – I think you’ll feel truly blessed if you do that, as you’ll see all the prayers that God has answered over time! 💗
[Note: all of these are in the featured image of this post, if you’d like to find out more!]
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, the first for my Lent 2017 series – let me know what you think of it! Do any of you have a faith? If so I’d love to know about it! Also, if you have any questions about Christianity and my faith, feel free to ask me!
Next Sunday I will be telling y’all about my being vegan for Lent and what sort of things that entails – I’ll be telling you about all the delicious snacks I’ve been enjoying recently as part of this!
See you on Thursday,
Sarah ☺️ xx