Sam Faithorn’s Story
I was raised by Christian parents to know and love God from a young age and growing up was a big part of a small regional Anglican church in NSW. I maintained this faith throughout primary and high school and was known for being “the Christian kid”, however towards the end of school and in my early to mid-20s I became a lot more interested in partying and drinking then going to church. Whilst I still identified as Christian, I shifted more and more away from God to living my own way. There came a period when I was 26 where I decided that whilst I believed in a higher power, I no longer identified as Christian. For someone who had grown up in the church this was a big moment for me and as a result (even though I did not realise it at the time) felt a feeling of existential dread I had never felt before…this covered everything… death, life, ageing, comparison, happiness, purpose…everything. Looking back, I had a void in my soul which I now know from experience can only be filled by God through Jesus. The best way I can describe it is that it was like having my “God filter” removed where you do not have that deep sense of joy and peace that comes from Christ and, you stop noticing the beauty in both creation and people. Eventually, you become unanchored and drift with the ways of the world which are in constant flux.
Over the next couple of years, I had some God miracles in my life and a sense of God calling me back. There were multiple moments and miracles but the biggest one was during my sister’s second pregnancy where everything was going smoothly but I felt God give me a compulsion to just pray for her. I prayed that night for her and messaged her I was praying too. As events unfolded, there were major pregnancy issues during the birthing where both my sister and the baby nearly died. However, all the right staff happened to be working (including the niche specialist required) which saved them both. The doctors said the chance of that happening was astronomical as they were never rostered on together and in hindsight that compulsion to pray made a lot of sense.
So this miracle, alongside a growing sense of God calling me back started my journey back to faith. This sense grew more and more palpable until eventually, I had a feeling of finality where I felt God say you need to join a church this week (no excuses). So in early March 2020 I walked into LIFE church. I was overwhelmed by the presence of God in the building and also by the inclusivity and energy of the place. I had this feeling from the Holy Spirit that I had come home and things were as they were meant to be. On top of that, I met some awesome people (including ps Craig and Nadia) and joined Joel’s and Charlene’s Life Group. The very next week Covid flared up in Melbourne and LIFE church went online. That sense of finality from God makes a lot of sense now, as knowing myself I would not have joined a church if it were online.
Since coming back to Christianity I have got my God filter back, my faith has grown and stabilised and I understand God in new ways… I am closer to Him than I have ever been before. There is such a sense of peace, security, love and joy that comes from doing life with God which I now fully appreciate having lived without it. I feel so lucky God called me back and to have discovered this amazing church. If there is anyone out there who was like me and had walked away from God, I cannot reiterate enough that the best thing you can do is to come back home. Truly if you seek, you will find, God is waiting for you and will transform your life and take you to new planes attainable only through Him.