I grew up in church. My parents brought me every Sunday. I didn’t understand it, but there was nothing else to do, and it was just another aspect of life. In high school, I was a “good girl.” I never drank, smoked, or partied. It wasn’t because I had a moral standard, it was because I didn’t want to, and my parents were around.
When I graduated high school and went college, I got involved with people who were not good for me. I started drinking alcohol all the time, almost every day of the week. I was smoking weed and doing inhalants, doing a lot of drugs and partying all the time. That’s how I filled my time. I thought, “Wow, I finally have friends.” My life suddenly filled with all these people who I thought cared about me, and I wanted to be with people who challenged me to think outside the box. They got me thinking, What if religion is just something that people used to fill their lives?
I started taking classes that made me think, This whole God thing is probably not even real. So I let thoughts of Him go. My parents still thought I went to church: I lied to them. I looked up a church and told them the name, but I’ve never been there.
In college, there were too many things that pointed to God as nonexistent. That was easy to believe, because I wasn’t held accountable for my actions.
But when I was not drinking, not with friends, or sober, I was so depressed. I thought, There really isn’t a point to life outside of this. After I graduate, I’m just going to get a job, live my life, and die. That’s it.
Whenever I thought, maybe God does exist, I thought, God has all these rules! You can’t do this or that because God will kill you. It was just easier not to believe.
After my 21st birthday, my parents got me a Kindle Reader. They were still under the impression I was a Christian, so they told me, “We went ahead and bought you a Bible to put on your Kindle.” I ignored it for a while, but one day I just opened it. I realized I had never read through it, and I had heard other people got stuff out of it.
I got to the point where I was reading it every night. I started reading in Genesis. I started reading questions online about scripture, and began to think, maybe, possibly, this could be real.
I knew I had to “get right” with God, and in order to do that I had to confess, but there was no way I was going to list it all out. So I didn’t. But during March spring break of 2011, my boyfriend and I got into this gigantic fight. He stormed out, and I thought, Life is not turning out as I thought it would.
I sat down on my bed and looked at this one spot on the ceiling. “Ok God,” I prayed, “If you are there, you can have it. You can have my life. I don’t care what you do with it. If you want to kill me, fine. I’m tired of feeling lonely when I’m not drunk, I’m tired of being alone when I don’t have distractions.”
I started to confess. I just sat there for an hour, listing. I didn’t know if anything was going to change, but suddenly, I felt this entire weight lifted. It was the craziest thing in the world. I felt so different. It was just incredible. There’s no way that I could have felt this way. My Bible was sitting there, and I opened it and started reading.
When they say the Holy Spirit is your teacher, I get that now. All the things I had learned from church before now made sense about Jesus. Suddenly all I’ve done didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time. Drugs? Why did I bother? I was really hungry for the Word. I began thinking, I have to go to church! I can’t wait to meet other Christians!
I still struggle with a lot of stuff, but now, I had God’s approval. His love wasn’t based on what I did, so that motivated me to start changing things.
I got involved with a Bible study with Cru, went to a fall retreat, and started being discipled. I grew exponentially: I have a network of believers, and I gained incite from them. I have a new attitude: I don’t belong to sin anymore.
If you’re leading a team then you know you that this is crunch time. There are a few precious weeks with these people who have been entrusted to your care before your staff peel off to focus on MPD and prepare for their summer assignments. You can help your team end well by reminding them that they are not lone rangers. You can lead a discussion on what it means to be a TEAM.
There is tremendous comfort in the knowledge that we are "seated" with Christ. You have a seat at the table with Jesus. You are seated with Him right now. You are at the Greatest Table with the Greatest King.
“Perhaps the most undervalued quality of a great mind or, at least, an awakened mind, is the willingness to abandon cherished ideas that cannot stand up to new evidence.” Joseph Loconte “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
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