Mark's Story

How growing up in a Christian home isn't a 'boring testimony' at all

How growing up in a Christian home isn't a 'boring testimony' at all

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The Evangelical Alliance joins together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals to make Jesus known.
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To have parents that love Jesus and that prayed for me,
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that modelled the Christian lifestyle in front of me,
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that talked about God around the dinner table,
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opened the Bible with us...
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huge, absolutely massive for me.
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My name is Mark and this is my story.
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So I grew up in a Christian family.
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I was a pretty happy kid.
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I grew up in a stable home.
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I'm blessed to have parents that are still together.
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I was a happy kid, loved sports.
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I don't remember doing anything
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outrageous or crazy.
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I would say that it took me until probably 11 years old
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to actually make a decision to make Jesus my Lord,
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and that happened through being at a Scripture Union camp.
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I looked at the leaders and I thought,
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wow, look at the joy that they have,
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and look at the example to me of what it's like
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to live with Jesus at the centre of your life.
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And I decided at that point actually that I'm not just
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being saved, I'm actually going to choose now
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to give my life wholly to Jesus.
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I used to think that was quite a boring testimony,
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but actually,
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I remember someone told me, they said once, that
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to grow up in a Christian home means that you've had
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people praying for you since before you were born,
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and that just completely blew me away.
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It would be amiss not to say things that
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when times when things have been difficult
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have been times of growth as well.
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Times where I've suffered from anxiety
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or times where I've maybe gone through
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relationship breakdown.
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So a lot of it for me came from basing my identity
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in my performance in school
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and up to the point of university,
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until I got to the point where my last set of exams
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where I just couldn't handle it.
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God has shaped my perspective differently since that moment
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to where I've realised that I didn't do anything
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to earn His love in the first place,
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and so actually I can't do anything to lose it.
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My faith has helped me hugely in that
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to know that I'm already completely loved
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and completely accepted in Jesus,
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and that God thinks the world of me
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before I even start out in a day.
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I think it makes all the difference in the world.
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To know that your guilt and your shame
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over the stuff that's happened in your past
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is actually completely removed,
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and that you don't have to live with that anymore;
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you don't have to carry that.
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For me to know that my purpose is to know God,
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and to walk with Him, and to enjoy Him,
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it gives so much shape and definition and colour
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to my every day.
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Every day can be an adventure.
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Every day God can do something amazing
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and awesome through me or in me or around me,
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and that that's the big point of living.