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In my life, I’ve had my share of sins. I used to cut myself and think that I was not good enough to live. I used to think God hated me. Why would God allow certain things in my life if He really loved me?
I obviously had a lot of questions about God.
While I was in college at the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, I joined Valor, Cru’s ministry for cadets and veterans on college campuses. The ministry leaders offered help when I had questions.
I learned more about Jesus at a retreat in North Carolina. During the retreat, I talked with Keith, a leader in Cru’s military ministry. The conversation bounced back and forth between my questions and his answers.
I thought that Christians never sinned.
I asked, “How can I know if I am forgiven and have eternal life?”
Keith said, “By believing that you are a sinner and that Christ died for your sins and then accepting Him as your Savior.”
I thought that Christians never sinned. I also thought my sin was keeping me from forgiveness. Keith explained that even Christians do sinful things. But Jesus has the power to change our lives.
After that, I accepted that I was a sinner and that Christ died on the cross for my sins. I knew I was forgiven.
As an expression of believing in Jesus, I was baptized that weekend. Being immersed in the water and coming back up again is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Now, when I sin — that is, when I do something I know is wrong — I realize I need to ask God to help me because I can’t do it on my own.
When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
Read about others who discovered their hope was misplaced and how they found a hope that lasts.
The time I spent with my father throughout my childhood is mostly an angry blur of yelling and crying.
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