My name is Sammy and I came to faith when I was 18 years old. For me growing up, I knew that God was real – I couldn’t argue with the evidence all around me, the miracles I witnessed in church, the many times I prayed and something happened and most of all my mums authentic unshakable faith in Jesus! My mum’s faith had a huge impact on me and from a very young age, I can remember my mum saying ‘Samantha God loves you, He has a plan and purpose for your life, and I believe one day, you will tell lots of people about Him.’
But here is the thing – when I looked at Christianity, I only saw rules and regulations that would stop me from having fun. That was not appealing to me and it did not look very exciting. And, in all honesty, my non-Christian friends seemed to have far more exciting and adventurous lives than the people I saw in church.
I found myself at a cross-road…so I decided to bargain with God.
I figured that if I could have my teenage years and my twenties to do what I want, I could commit to being a Christian when I was older and had nothing left to do. The age of 30 seemed like a good deal (although I must say now that I am 5 years away from 30 and it is certainly NOT old!) However, I quickly found out that life without Jesus is utterly meaningless. Nothing can amount to the love that is found in Him. Nothing.
I remember when I was going out, drinking and partying, I would feel so good in the moment but it was like bungee jumping – I would jump off, it was fun, exciting and thrilling but inevitably I would be pulled right back to where I started. For me when the alcohol was gone, the friends had disappeared and the money had left my account, I would feel this overwhelming void of loneliness. The life I had chosen left me feeling more broken and empty than I was to begin with. I didn’t see a way out.
Then I remembered Jesus.
At the lowest point of my life, my mum’s words started to echo in my head ‘God loves you, He has a plan and purpose for your life.’ I knew that even though I messed up and willingly turned away from God, He still loved me and could forgive me. His love for me isn’t based on my actions – instead it’s unconditional and unwavering. There is nothing He can’t love me through.
As I remembered this truth I prayed ‘God I am sorry. If you are still there, if I haven’t messed this up too much please help me.’ And that is what God did – he helped me. In those years I had turned away from him and I lost myself completely but he started to restore peace, joy, happiness and hope into my life.
I don’t know where I would be if Jesus didn’t step in. I will never forget the life he saved me from, and now I love to share the hope I have found in him with others. I currently work for The Message Trust as part of the band ‘SoulBox’. We travel anywhere we can with our music so we can share the gospel with young people and see them step into God’s love, plan and purpose for their lives. It turns out this relationship with God I spent so long running away from is full of adventure, fun and excitement after all!
Written by Sammy Jabangwe
Sammy is a preaching evangelist based in Manchester. She is a singer in the band SoulBox, a duo hybrid mix of rap-soul-pop, who perform to the 1s and 2s in schools and prisons but thrive in front of 1000s, writing and performing songs on the hope and love of Jesus.