Meet Emily, a first-year student of medicine at Oxford University!
She first came across Hosea Clothing from an Instagram advert and fell in love with the designs of the Christian clothing brand. Many of her friends had been wearing Christian clothing, but Emily wanted something a little different and a slightly more subtle declaration of her faith, clothes that invite questions and conversations.
Pulling off the classic ‘God of ’hoodie, Emily loves that Hosea Clothing “looks really good, and is also affordable for a student like me!”
Emily has been an active follower of Jesus for a year, after coming to a point of conviction where she started asking the big questions like, the classic, ‘what is my purpose?’
Growing up in a Christian family, Emily never truly connected with Jesus and says that at the time, she believed “it didn’t seem relevant”, especially after seeing the lifestyles of young people in her life who weren’t Christians. Once she started questioning her faith, she felt compelled to read the book of Romans, where she immediately felt convicted and embarked on her journey with Jesus Christ. Emily admits that the growth in her faith life has been a gradual one, and there wasn’t one huge mountain-top moment that she experienced which changed her life completely. Rather, Emily describes it as “a realisation of where I fit within my life.”
“There was never a huge turnaround in terms of my material life, but more of a change in my perspective.”
Before walking with the Lord, Emily struggled deeply with identity. She had always strived to achieve the best she could academically and this is where she had rooted her worth and value. After failing a music exam which felt like the end of the world for Emily, she realised how unsustainable and unhealthy it was for her to keep her identity rooted in her academics, so she surrendered to Jesus and let Him carry her.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Matthew 11:28-30, NIV
The example of her older sister, a committed follower of Jesus, has helped Emily in her own walk and watching her sister be faithful throughout her life, has been an encouragement to Emily to seek Jesus in everything. Also, getting involved in her university Christian Union and getting stuck into her church, has proved to be a massive help to Emily’s faith life. She says that living with Christians and seeing how they live life for God has had the biggest impact because she sees it every day.
“Finding a Christian community for me has been the biggest thing.”
Like all believers, Emily’s walk with Christ hasn’t always been smooth. She confesses that she’s always struggled with grasping how God could love and forgive her, despite all the things she had done. It was recently laid on her heart to read Song of Songs, (a book Emily was initially hesitant to read, given its nature!) Yet, reading through it, God showed her how intimately, directly and personally God loves her. He knows the innermost parts about her, and still pursues her. She says that “sometimes we think of God’s love as a very impersonal thing, like how a primary school teacher loves all her kids”, but reading Song of Songs, Emily sees God’s love in a different light.
“He’s seen everything, all of you and everything you’ve done, and he’s still like, exactly you. I love YOU.”
As a final encouragement, Emily would like to say to anyone new in the faith or doubting their beliefs in Jesus, “even when you’re doubting your faith or struggling, He is always good.” Once you look back on your life, even when you weren’t in a relationship with Him, you’ll see that He was good to you there, despite it all.
“Even though some things were hard, He was always good."