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My Story: Rachel Harris

Injuries and trials help a young atheist investigate Christianity.

Rachel Harris with Rich Atkinson

I grew up in a Christian house.

My parents are basically part-time missionaries. I pretended that I was a really big Christian like them, but the whole time I was really an atheist.

I came to North Carolina State University to play soccer and I was recovering from my 2nd ACL surgery. On August 3rd we had our first day of pre-season and we were training. Right into it, I tore my ACL the 3rd time.

It was really hard to take because I was literally 12 days away from getting cleared for good to be back and play soccer. I had been out for 16 months already. To hear that again it would be another 10 to 12 months that was really hard to handle. Initially the injuries pushed me away from seeking God because I was stubborn.

After awhile I was talking with my teammate, she explained that my injury was leading me to Him rather than pushing me away. I idolized soccer. Taking it away from me, I was realizing I need more to my life than just soccer.

2 or 3 months after my 3rd surgery, I decided to try out Athletes in Action with Hannah – my teammate who kept inviting me to come with her. I really liked the meeting because I felt comfortable there and it was really relaxed. I felt that even though I had never been before, I was comfortable there and felt welcomed.

They had an ice cream social, and I decided to go because a lot of my teammates were going – and it was free ice cream.

I talked with Mary from AIA. She made me feel really comfortable there and welcomed. We didn’t have to talk about God or anything. We just talked about my life and she seemed to really care. After that I kept going. I started reading my Bible alone a lot and wanted to know more. I was reading through John 3:16 and the verses around it.

On November 17, I decided that I wanted to be a Christian so I accepted Christ. I told Hannah about it and AIA. They helped me with discipleship and what it means to be a Christian. How to go from accepting Christ to actually living out the Christian life.

I am really excited to move forward in my faith every day.

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Rachel grew up in Apex, North Carolina. She is a red-shirt freshman defender at NC State. Her goals include coaching college soccer.

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