This is my story. My testimony. My walk with Christ.
It hasn’t always been pretty, things haven’t always been easy for me. And right now in this moment, thinking about the things that I have been through, I pray that somehow, someone, somewhere, will read this and understand.
I grew up going to church and knowing Jesus. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was a child, not even truly understanding the meaning of what it means to “surrender your life to Christ.” My parents are both Christians so I grew up following their example of what it means to live a Christian life. There was never really a point in my life I felt distant and confused when it came to my relationship with Christ until high school.
I struggled with many different conflicts in high school, freshman year right off the bat. I tried so extremely hard to seek the approval of others. I convinced myself that if I participated in activities that I knew were harmful to myself, that people would automatically want to be friends with me. So naturally, that’s what I did and I would come home the next day and just sit and think to myself, is this what my life is going to consist of? Nothing but partying, seeking the approval of others, harming myself? I felt completely lost by the end of sophomore year leading into junior year. I struggled with tons of anxiety and depression, that eventually led to a year of lashing out and harming myself. I honestly didn’t even know what I was doing until it was over. I felt like I was living a lie, to my family, friends, and myself. However, God was with me the whole time. Even when I would sit there, crying, feeling lost and broken, asking Him show up and save me. I was so blinded that I didn’t even recognize that He was there in the midst of my brokenness.
Fast forward to senior year, I started to change my attitude and perspective. I recognized that I will not make it in this world if I do not start developing and strengthening my relationship with Jesus. I started going to the Church of Eleven 22 and I immediately fell in love and found my church home.
I started school at The University of North Florida in the summer of 2016, and loved it. It wasn’t until the fall semester started that I started having anxiety and worry again, to the point where I couldn’t find a way to control it. I got back into a relationship, I was in a sorority, I had tons of friends, and school was going ok, and I was still going to church. Freshman year now looking back on it, seems like a blur. However, I know Jesus was present the whole time, and my relationship with Christ was growing.
The relationship I was in, now seems like it was a roller coaster of emotions, causing happiness and anxiety all at the same time. Many ups and downs, many nights laying in bed asking God, “where are you and what is your plan here?” Even when I was with people I felt alone and confused. Church was the only place I felt at home and loved. However, even though the relationship I was in was not perfect, I still wouldn’t have changed anything. God was present in the beginning, middle, and end and I am so blessed that God had his sovereign hand over the situation. I have learned that God doesn’t put us through anything that we can’t handle. And believe it or not, He puts us in situations that we can’t control to show us that He is in control.
I took part in the Before All Things initiative through Eleven 22. I surrendered my life to Christ again in the spring of 2017 and I was baptized through Eleven 22 this past summer. Still even with that, there have still been many ups and downs. Living a life for Christ is not easy, but it is so worth it. Everything about Jesus is worth it, because he says we are worth it. We are beautiful, because he says we are beautiful. And we are valuable and loved, because he paid the ultimate price for us on the cross, demonstrating the perfect example of love.
I got the idea for this blog shortly after my baptism, because 1. I absolutely love writing and sharing my thoughts, and 2. because since I am called to be a disciple of Christ, that means we are called to spread the word, and what better way to do that than have a blog that is all about Jesus!
These last few months have been hard and full of confusion and doubt. But, I am so thankful to have so many loving and wonderful relationships in my life that have helped me keep a positive outlook on life.
Now, being 20, I have realized a couple things. I realize that God’s got my life in the palm of his hand. I am young and there are so many doors waiting to be opened. There is no need to be fearful or worry. I will continue to put my faith and trust into Jesus, because honestly I cannot do life without Jesus.
To sum this whole thing up, I am so overwhelmingly thankful for the price Jesus paid for us sinners. He goes before all things.