“Calling new and nervous students”

***Our growing family of students gather at our 11.30am meeting opposite the Student Union, in King Edward’s Girls School, the home of our South Site. Join us this Sunday and for a free lunch afterwards!***


 

I remember it well. Packing up my things, swapping goodbyes with friends, counting down the days. Finally, we were getting in the car and heading off to my new life.

I remember turning back to glance at my house one last time as it got smaller and smaller as we drove away…

Heading off to University is one of the biggest moments that life can bring our way. Everything changes. New city, new routine, new course, new people… it can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but it can also be one of the most terrifying. Change can be wonderful but change can be scary. Either way, if you’ve just landed in Birmingham in the past week or so, one way or another, big changes are something you’ll be familiar with by now.

My parents say I didn’t stop chatting the whole morning. It was moving in day, and the change had got my mind racing. “What if my hallmates are weird?”, I asked. “What if they don’t like football? What if the food is awful? What if they haven’t taken a gap year and I feel really old? What if they’ve taken two gap years and I feel really young?”

And that was before the “Christian” questions – “How will I tell them I follow Jesus? When will I tell them I follow Jesus? Hang on a second…WILL I even tell them I follow Jesus? Will I have one pint, two pints, or no pints tonight? I want to blend in, but also stand out. Is it possible?”

The questions can be endless and for those who have begun Uni, you might recognise some of those thoughts. If so, we at Churchcentral want to just say a few words.

Firstly, we want to encourage you: It’s okay. If you’re feeling unsure, and your mind is spinning, well, you’re feeling the same as every Fresher who has gone before you. It’s okay.

Secondly, we also want to say a big welcome. As you land in Birmingham and embark on your student experience, we want you to know that we are so thrilled you’ve chosen this wonderful city as your home for the next few years. It’s an incredible place, and we are confident you’ll grow to love the second city as much as we do.

But more than calming your nerves, or welcoming you, with all the change that is going on, most of all we want to ask you to quickly lift your eyes for a moment. Perhaps you’re sat in your room right now, looking at all the half-unpacked boxes that need emptying, or scrolling Facebook missing home. But just for a second, lift your eyes. Lift your gaze. Look up from the changing world around you, and see the unchanging One, the Lord Jesus.

Because the same Jesus who spread the stars in the sky, who calmed the seas of Galilee, who laid his life down on a cross for you and I and three days later rose from the dead defeating sin, death and Satan for ever… that same Jesus is, right now, wherever you are, absolutely utterly for you. He is for you! He’s with you! He’s working for your good. He’s got wonderful things lined up for you. Because, unlike everything else, he hasn’t changed. And he isn’t going to.

The Jesus you’ve sung about at home, is the same Jesus you’ll sing about here. The Jesus who has cared for you and brought you this far is the Jesus who has led you to Birmingham and will be with you by his Spirit throughout your chats with housemates, the first steps you take around campus, that first seminar.

He hasn’t changed. He won’t change. With that in mind, just imagine what a few years it could be…

***Our growing family of students gather at our 11.30am meeting opposite the Student Union, in King Edward’s Girls School, the home of our South Site. Join us this Sunday and for a free lunch afterwards!***

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