The Young of the Kingdom: Rhys

God is on the move and we feel called to keep an account of how He is touching lives in this place, at this time. We hope these stories of what God has been doing will inspire you to draw near to Him in faith, enjoying the full and abundant life Jesus promised.

Rhys lives in Steyning and is at sixth form college locally.  Here he tells how he was healed and transformed, inside and out.

For as long as I can remember, my thoughts have been immersed with intense anxiety and constant self-hatred; characterised by self-destructive behaviour and purposefully avoiding making connections and friendships. I didn’t allow myself to be happy and at times, this got to the point that I wanted, and tried, to kill myself.

When I began college, another student invited me into their group of friends. Despite my best self-destructive efforts, their joy was persistent, and I found myself hanging out with them more. I didn’t necessarily join in, but I found myself accidentally attending a series of church youth events; prayer meetings, services and youth-night dinners. One invitation was to a ‘revival night’ on May 3rd this year. I accepted an offer from the service leader to receive prayer and I subsequently experienced a warmth like nothing else I had experienced before.

In one encounter, my entire mentality was transformed. 10 minutes sitting on the floor had felt like five seconds as God revealed to me what He desired for my life, and what He revealed to me was appealing. These new thoughts whirled around my head all evening, and well into the early hours of the morning. This new, seemingly foreign way of thinking felt so good: not to hate yourself every moment of the day.

This intensely powerful change from old thought patterns to new was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to do with myself because it was so different. I didn’t know who I was. I began loving myself. I stopped being self-destructive or sabotaging things that were going well. Instead, I began making more friends, and allowed my life to be filled with people who bring me joy.

Throughout my teenage years, I often experienced lightning bolts of pain throughout my legs from tendonitis. Some days it would be so bad I couldn’t get out of bed and on others I would arise wondering how much pain I would be in that day. During the Kingdom Come Conference in June, I received prayer for my joints, and they had felt mildly better. Later that day, I received prayer again and the pain completely left, I haven’t experienced any pain since.

This was yet another insane experience that has reinforced and strengthened my faith in God. The physical pain that I had lived with for so long stopped me from doing so many things that I enjoyed, so after the pain left, I went running for the first time in over 3 years – pain-free. These experiences continue to affirm the invitation that God has given for my life.