Growing up, I was always a happy child and never really thought that there was something missing in my life. I grew up in a non-religious family. I don’t think we even owned a Bible and we definitely didn’t talk about God or being Christians.
Then things started going wrong.
My great-grandpa passed away when I was going into 6th grade. That was incredibly difficult for me because I knew he had been sick for a long time. But then I thought about how, with his heart condition, he should have died well before I was born.
We had a big formal funeral church service for him. It was the first time I had ever really sat in a church. In the program they printed Psalms 23. To this day it has been my favorite verse, because even through every hardship, the Lord is still there guiding us. Even when we’re dead and gone from the world, we’re still going to be with him forever.
However, high school got even worse with hardships.
My great-grandma passed away from Alzheimer’s my freshman year. I felt out of place at her funeral because she didn’t know whom I was. It was also bittersweet because we even had the same birthday. She couldn’t remember memories past 1989, including my parents getting married.
Hardships continued as a result of my friends from middle school drifting away. I felt like I was on my own.
When I was a junior in high school, my boyfriend said that I really needed to go to church. I did, but only because I didn’t want to disappoint him.
Life got better for me in a slow progression coming into college. I made new friends and got involved with different activities, including Cru.
A friend from Cru had invited me to their weekly meetings and that’s when I really started coming out of my shell. Cru had an upcoming Fall Getaway and couldn’t think of a reason not to go.
At the retreat, the speaker talked about a father protecting his daughter from a fatal bee sting and sacrificing himself with the sting. This story was in relation to how Jesus suffered the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross and freeing us from our sins, including mine.
Relating this story to my life, I realized at that moment that I needed God and his protection and love. I’ve been given this amazing gift, and I haven’t been accepting it. That weekend I gave my life to Christ.
Now, I have a different outlook on everything. I’m more positive and so much more open to growing in my relationship with Jesus. I’ve never had someone sacrifice for me. I felt like I had to do everything for myself. Now, I can find strength in God alone instead of trying to live a happy life on my own. I now know what had been missing in my life: Jesus.