Stone cold walls to white-hot faith

A young woman’s journey of discovering real life in Christ

For most of my life, faith and the religion associated with it was something bound to the stone walls of my school chapel where cold mornings were begrudgingly spent, and a bell both initiated and concluded time spent with God. Compulsory mornings on uncomfortable pews was, for me, the limit to what I allowed my heart to grasp as Christianity. It stayed within those walls and those hymns. Faith was such a minuscule part of my identity that for a large chunk of my first year at UCT- a two-hour plane ride away from that old chapel- I reveled in the ‘independence’ suddenly handed to 18-year-old me. Church on a Sunday seemed the last place you’d find me, as I became engulfed by the broken culture I mistook as freedom. And yet, attacked by the loneliness which comes from a change in routine, that general feeling of being out of place, and secretly burning with curiosity as to what my Christ-following friends saw in the whole thing- I sat, shy and amiss, at my first Common Ground service. I look back and say that I was attracted to the community of church before I was inspired by the claims of Christ, and I sat there believing I would never be able to keep up with the demands to live a perfect life. I was, unknowingly, about to undertake the most riveting transformation into the person Christ was calling me to be.

I fell for Jesus fast from there and was thrilled to see parts of my life that I didn’t think needed changing being reshaped and remade for the better. When you live for something, you cannot help but have that something stream into all aspects of your life, and once I began to walk each day with the bounce of my steps being for God’s purposes and not my own, that dogmatic notion of religion that had been imprinted into my brain from school began to fall, shattered at the reality of real, living faith.

My decision to follow the instructions Jesus gave regarding baptism took place in an unlikely place- on a Mango flight to Durban for my granny’s funeral at the end of 2018. It seemed like the most obvious and natural next step once it had entered my mind. Getting to express this new Amy to my life group friends and family through an event like baptism felt freeing and empowering at the same time, as I once and for all let go of my life and placed it into His receiving hands. 

I’m still learning to walk in the ways of this new life I have found, yet being a member of a place like Common Ground has blessed me with a family of believers who I can walk with and gain encouragement from. I believe that at Common Ground I am a part of a beautiful thing, tangible in its love, powerful in its calling, and true to Christ’s plan.