Our Stories: Emily Goulding
Hello I’m Emily!! I’m a student here at City Church and I’m training to be a teacher at Christ Church University. I’ve been coming to City for a year and a bit now and love Canterbury a lot. I’m from Winchester, grew up in a Christian family and loved church back home. With the craziness of moving out and starting uni, getting stuck into City took a while. I remember walking into the Christmas social last year knowing so few people, and this being a reminder of how much I missed and valued the friendships from my home church. I wanted to find relationships here that were encouraging, supportive and would direct me to God. I realised, however, I had to start making the effort to get involved; joining a small group, going along to pursuit, asking someone to disciple me and serving on the kids team. I started to get to know more people at City and there’s many who I could give a massive shout out to for helping make City & Canterbury my home.
I think the best thing about City is the excellent teaching and value that is placed on God’s word and being always being encouraged to turn first to God. City has helped me grow in my understanding of who God is and as a result my awe and love for God has, and is growing. I feel my faith has made a leap from being something I knew was ‘right’ and good for me, to something I truly love and cannot imagine life without. It’s the whole cliché of your faith ‘becoming your own’ and not being reliant on others to sustain it!! I now want to spend time praying, reading the Bible and doing life with God in the big and small things.
I could write for pages about the last year but I guess the few pieces of advice/things I have learned that I want to share are:
ONE: make where you are your home. I don’t even know where I heard this advice but it has been so helpful. I don’t know how long I’ll be in Canterbury, maybe just until I graduate but while I am here it is home; I’ve made friendships, I’ve got involved in church and I have got to know Canterbury. It makes so much difference being comfortable where you are (even if for you it is only a home away from home). However, it takes time so don’t put pressure on yourself!
TWO: you have a calling. Uni can be such a tricky time figuring out God’s purpose for our lives and what we should do afterwards. Our calling ultimately is to worship God and do life with him.
THREE: God’s plan is so much greater than your own. I think almost everything I had expected of uni has not necessarily gone to plan. Being in a reflective mood as 2018 is ending, I can see now how, through changing me and teaching me how to pursue Him more, God’s glorious plan made way more sense!
FOUR: God brings good from the worst of situations. Whether these situations are through choices we make or circumstances we are in, God has the incredible power and grace to bring good out of it.
Romans 5v3-5: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Shall we see You in the blessings
Yet forget You in the trials?
No, in all of these things You are working
So I’ll stand and trust You now
My prayer for the students is that while you’re here, Canterbury will be your home, and you’ll begin to trust and know the truth that you have a calling too. God can bring good from bad, and His plans are always good.
Have a super Christmas holiday and see y’all in the New Year!!
About the Author
Emily is in her second year studying Primary Ed at CCCU and loves Canterbury. She loves just having a chilled time with friends and spends too much time watching tv.