Joe is a 2nd year Natural Scientist at Christ’s. He told us about his transition from struggle and frustration to discovering the joy of serving his Father in heaven through his work.
After receiving my A-level results at 3am from a cramped dorm at a summer camp in Maryland, I truly had no idea what the next year had in store for me. I was sure that Cambridge had made a mistake and at any moment would turn around and tell me it was all a hoax. For this reason, my first term at Cambridge was the toughest. I constantly felt I had to prove my worth to all those around me. All my academic work was never good enough, I was constantly stressed, I didn’t enjoy my degree at all. I came home for Christmas exhausted and not excited to go back at all. I felt I had failed; the dream to be at Cambridge was not at all as I expected it to be.
I was always keen to join the Christian Union (CU); my church community back home had been so supportive that it felt silly not to get stuck in with a Christian community at University. It was the first thing I signed up for at the fresher’s fair (followed by rowing, that was a mistake). I didn’t feel truly a part of the CU until I went on ‘The Big CICCU Getaway’ in January. It was then when I truly began to learn how to be a Christian at Cambridge University. My perspective on work was completely changed. I learnt that my heavenly father values me regardless of how good I am compared to my peers, or how long I spent working that week. It was life changing! Everything became exciting; I couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for me next. The Lord gifted me friends that are dear to my heart, He made my studies challenging yet fulfilling, and He made Cambridge feel like home.
As followers of Jesus, we are never promised that our lives will become easier, but the way we face challenges does. The book of James starts with one of my favourite verses from this year: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) A close friend of mine shared these verses with me in Michaelmas term and for this reason I’m excited for more trials in my life. I am amazed at the way God has changed me. I’d never go back, He has done so much good.
I am so thankful for those who encouraged me to get involved in a Christian community at Cambridge, my year would’ve been so miserable without all the good things that come from there. I believe God has gifted me with an amazing ability to step out and tell people about what I believe in. Therefore, I cannot wait to step out and share my faith with as many people as possible, and be there for those who are in need, like people were there for me last year. I thank God for all that He is doing and has done in Cambridge.