My life before Christ was pretty much the same as any other regular kid. I attended church regularly with my family, but I never felt a desire for Christ in my life. I was content with living my life, enjoying doing kid things with my friends, the rest of the time, being quiet and playing video games. I never really got into any trouble and was, to the standard of society, an exceptional kid.
The end of my freshman year of high school was when I came to Christ. High school had really opened my eyes to the realization that I needed to make a change, in not only my spiritual life but others’ lives as well. I felt a strong desire to submit my life to Christ, and get to know my spiritual father, so that I could make a difference and stand out from the crowd and show others that it was “OK” to be different.
Since I gave my life to Christ, He has allowed me so many opportunities to share his gift. I became involved with our local football team as the athletic trainer, and that has given me the opportunity to get involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I am currently a Huddle Leader in FCA and that has allowed me to share my faith with others and set a godly example for those that may not normally have one. Lastly, here recently my church has formed a small youth choir and I have had the opportunity to share God through praise and worship.
My life before Christ was really lonely. I was moving schools, trying to make friends, and “fit in”. In my head I thought I wasn’t good enough. Then I started hearing how God’s love was unconditional and never-changing. With God I had a friend. I had someone that I knew would never leave.
As a child, I had been told about who Jesus was, but I didn’t actually know Him. I knew intellectually that He was God’s son, but I really didn’t understand much and didn’t know anything about a purpose. Everything I did was centered around me. I was selfish, ignorant, and lost. But then I realized I really needed to know Jesus, He chose to die on the cross for me so I could live and have a relationship with God. So I prayed to God and admitted that I had messed up, that I sinned and always tried to do things on my own, that I knew Jesus was His son, that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for me and that God raised Him from the grave.
Because of what Jesus did for me, I no longer have to try to be good to earn my way into heaven. In fact, nothing any of us do will get us into heaven. I don’t have to do things on my own. But this was just the beginning. Having Jesus in my heart is like having a being or presence inside of me. No matter where I go, He’s always there giving me love, support, and guiding me. He gives me a purpose and leads me. He carries me along the way so I can live with meaning. Even when awful things happen, I have peace in my heart because I know God.
Two years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. If I didn’t trust Jesus, it would have been devastating. But because of Jesus, I have hope. I’m a pretty logical and orderly person, and I like to know what’s going to happen and what to do. I’m a planner. And now God is teaching me to fully rely on Him because He truly, truly is my foundation and strength. I’m learning to keep focus on God and trust Him every single moment of every single day—to be a light for Him in this world—to let God be in control instead of me being in control.
Before I met Christ, I was lost. I was a sinner and cared only for myself. Now I am a follower of Jesus. Now I care for others more than myself.
Because I was brought up in the church, I struggled with the validity of my faith until I realized all God brought me through. I was bullied as a young child so much that I had to transfer. I went to a new school with no friends and no self-esteem. My entire identity was destroyed. I made it through to high school and was blessed with friends I never thought I would have. But then everything seemed to fall apart. The self-image I had was terrible. I hated everything I was. I never thought anyone would love me. I felt every friend was lying to me. I couldn’t see anything past the darkness surrounding me. I began to think about suicide. I thought I’d do myself and everyone else a favor and just end it. I don’t know how I’m alive today. I only know that God wasn’t finished with me, so He saved me again.
Today, I see why I’ve faced what I’ve faced. He uses me, a messed up, insignificant girl, to tell people He loves them. I’m alive because He loves me. He loves you too! SO MUCH! I can’t even explain it to myself half the time, but He does. He’s changed my life and has given me people who love me, no matter what. Wait for Him. He knows what’s best.
Before I met Christ, I was confused. I had so many questions: How did everything exist? Who created it? I learned it was God and that He sent His Son Jesus to save me as the sinner I was. Today Jesus has saved me and I live for Him. Each and every day I live by faith, trusting in Him and learning what he has in store for me.
My walk with God has been a struggle throughout my life. My life before Christ was not a happy one, I was once so depressed I would resort to self-harm just to feel better. When I felt like there was no way out of my depression, I attempted to end my life. I carried around wounds from dysfunctional relationships from the home I grew up in. My anger and lack of respect caused me to lash out and curse and be disobedient. There was a point that I was so desperate to get away, my sister and I ran away from home in hopes to escape our unhappy home. We were picked up by law enforcement. Things were still in turmoil and my mother sent me to a mental hospital at one point during that time and it was the worst experience of my life. I later moved in with my father hoping for a fresh start, but unfortunately I soon realized that life with him wasn’t what I expected and in the end I decided to move back in with my mom to be closer to my sisters.
I became a Christ-follower at 15. Ever since then my walk with God has gotten so much stronger. I absolutely love everyone in my church family! I have no idea what I would do without them. They have been there for me through every step of my journey. The most important thing God taught me is forgiveness, I have learned to forgive those who hurt me and even myself, to forget about the past and move on to build relationships stronger than they have ever been.
When I think about my future, I see so much and God has everything to do with it. I thank him every day for giving me the gift of the future! If I hadn’t been introduced to the church that I am going to now I may have not have a relationship with God and I don’t even want to think about what my life would still be like without Him. God is my strength and my refuge, He brings me up when I am down, He gives me hope for the future and He loves me more than I could ever love myself.