Beth Appleby on the ID Year at King's

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My name is Beth, I am a King’s ID student.

I wanted to take a year out with the church whilst I was figuring out what I’d like to do in the future. I spoke to Ailsa and Paul and they both suggested the ID year. At first I really wasn’t even sure what it was, but I said yes and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

For me doing the ID year has presented many challenges but also so many rewards. The best thing for me is my relationship with God – it’s just grown massively. If you had asked me before the ID year ‘what’s your relationship with God like?’ probably would have responded with a laugh to be honest. But now it’s just so fruitful, He’s talking to me, sometimes even when I really don’t want Him to.

ID has helped me through so much, that’s just through lots of prayer. It’s personal stuff like how I never really travelled before without my parents apart from the occasional school trip, but now I quite happily take the train for training weeks. ID has encouraged me really to find myself, especially my confidence. At the beginning of this year, I could barely stand on my own two feet, but actually now I have the confidence to speak to you guys on camera.

Just a quick side note: if you’re concerned about whether you’re good enough, or whether you’re not academic, or even you feel that you’re not organised enough, don’t worry, God takes you for who you are, ID is there to help you not just through the fun stuff but actually through the times when you’re struggling the most. They’re really, really supportive.

You have mentors, who are there to help you through your ID year to both aid you and challenge you at times, to get the most out of your ID year. Usually you decide on a day per week or fortnightly to talk through your life, how you’re developing and growing. For example, my prayer life when I started was not really there, zero to none really. I didn’t really know how to pray or even what it meant. My mentor and I talked through it, couple of tea and biscuits here and there, she gave me some Bible verses and told me I was overthinking it. That I wasn’t just speaking to Him normally, like a normal conversation. It was almost like a film; just showing God the adverts for it and keeping the full, 4K, amazing, Oscar-winning film to myself. As it wasn’t yet the edited version that I was quite happy to share with Him. I would never have got to the position I’m in without the encouragement and accountability from my mentor.

Best thing about the training weeks was definitely getting together, I remember our first meeting and they said ‘okay, go downstairs, get a cup of tea, and then in about five minutes come back up.’ I’ve never experienced getting an awkward cup of tea – and I’m British! Which, you know, sums it all up really. But if you’ve ever wondered who your lifelong friends are going to be, just go on ID. For me, if I could only choose one thing it’s the support network you have. We have a WhatsApp group and I cannot remember the amount of times I’ve asked for prayer or been encouraged and that’s just on the WhatsApp group, let alone when you’re with these amazing people and it’s just you and your classes and everything else and it’s just so amazing to see how everybody is doing really.

I would recommend doing ID because you learn so much in what seems like a very short year. First of all a deepening in relationships with other people, especially with God, growing in faith, getting to know yourself through your identity that God has given you. Second, the confidence I’ve received over this year has been amazing, through the support of my friends, my mentor, my supervisor in God, and especially my parents sometimes going home and not really knowing exactly what I’ve done that day, but with God I’m growing in leaps and bounds every day. If you’re wanting to find out more about yourself and how to find that in God I would say the course is a good place to start. Last but not least, ID is what you make of it. Put your all into it and be challenging, that might be what you need to do in order to do this course. You’re going to have to make some big decisions sometimes, before you even start, I know I had. It’s actually really, really worth it, just stand firm in God and if this is the thing for you then it will definitely happen.

Beth Appleby