A Life That Looked Fine
“Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ John 2: 8-9
I have always been afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone, when I was a child that meant roller coasters, as a teenager it was making friends, then at 18 I had to leave home and go to University. I spent that first year terrified of my classes, that I wouldn’t be clever enough. I worried what people would think of me, worried that some terrible disaster would befall me, with the end of my degree looming, like the edge of a cliff:
What was I going to do with my life?
But in my second year, a major shift happened. I had always called myself a Christian but I don’t think I ever really got it, I knew a lot of the right answers but there was no real love in my heart for Jesus.
Through a series of coincidences I found myself with two Christian flat mates. I realised they had something I didn’t, and I didn’t know why but I craved it, so I started going to church again. This God I’d sung about all my life, I finally decided to let him in but once again, fear was my stumbling block. I prayed the only prayer I could think of: "Father, open my heart."
And he did. He undid the patched up scars of my broken heart and poured Love in.
I love the story of Jesus turning water into wine, because that’s exactly what he did with my life. He took a life that looked fine, it was sustainable, but fear had left it colourless and a bit bland - and he enriched it in every possible way with colour and fragrance and light.
I had thought my life nothing extraordinary. I doubted myself, and my value. But when the father’s love broke in I understood how precious my life was to him. He could take old bath water, and turn it into a choice wine, something to be savoured.
Often people look at the Christian faith and think it’s boring, it’s just a list of things you can’t do, but my faith has given me more freedom than anything else.
I know every part of me is known, and yet completely loved. And I don’t think there is a more basic need that this: to be fully known and fully loved.
So that question, what was I going to do with my life? My answer now seemed simple, I decided to live loved. I decided that I would feel the fear, yet know that God could take my weakness and use it, he would take my brokenness and make it beautiful, just as he had turned water into wine - because that’s what he does, it’s what he’s always done.
“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!” John 10:10
Steph is a Master's student at Durham, studying Culture & Difference. Having spent four years in London she's excited to keep exploring what community looks like in such beautiful (if small) city like Durham. She loves meeting other students for coffee and is constantly amazed to see Jesus' transforming power in their lives as well as her own.