I have grown up in a Christian family and I suppose I always took for granted being a Christian.
I had never had anything to test my faith in God. Then I started to be bullied in school. The local
gang picked up that I was a Christian and daily would tease me, shout at me and abuse me
because of my beliefs.
My friends were scared and did nothing to help and at that point I felt more unhappy and alone
than I ever had before. I didn't understand why God was putting me through the pain of it and I
was very resentful because of it. I used to get in from school and cry myself to sleep. One night,
I couldn't take any more and gave it all to God. I asked him to stop them, to punish them perhaps
and make everything right. That Sunday, my youth leader talked about suffering for Jesus. She
showed me a verse that suddenly seemed to make everything clearer.
Matthew 5:10... Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is
the kingdom of Heaven.
I understood that when Jesus died, he took so much more pain and suffering than I will probably
ever know. That day I stated to pray a different prayer. I thanked God for giving me this test of
faith and asked that He would give me strength to endure it and the words to tell me persecutors
of his love. And the truly wonderful thing was that, he did. I began to be proud of my faith. I
answered the awkward questions, ignored the nasty remarks and continued to try and show some
of God's love. After a week or two the bullying had ended and I forgot about it.
I was reminded just recently at my graduation. After the Leaver's party, I was waiting for my lift
home and I was standing with one of my persecutors, now someone who was admired and liked
by a lot of people. He told me how sorry he was for everything he had ever said and done and
told me how much his life had changed since then.
I guess this is quite a small testimony compared with the amazing conversions of many others but
to me it is so important because God has shown me his massive love, forgiveness and taught me
to believe in the power of prayer.