For as long as I can remember, I’ve been around the church. I grew up at Shore Baptist after my family moved to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates when I was about one year old.

Growing up in the church, and going through Sunday school and the youth group, I learned the usual stories and songs, and learned much of God’s word and works. However nothing really resonated in my heart. I guess the knowledge was there but the faith was lacking.

It wasn’t until recently that God truly revealed himself to me. My father had lost his job and the family was having a rough time financially. This, together with the suicide of a high school friend, had me in an odd, even fragile, state of mind. But through the grace of God things were overcome. My father, after being denied multiple job opportunities, seems to have found the perfect job with FedEx where he seems very happy. This, along with a real coming to grips with the passing of my friend, lead to a revelation of sorts.

All of the teachings and experiences I had grown up with in the church came full circle and really hit me, and it became clear to me all the times that the love and grace of our lord was there in mine and my family’s life. The true bearing of the work of Christ on the cross and his love and grace really hit home.