My Story: How My Life Changed

No More Pretending

“I wasn’t sure how long I could keep this up.”

Hannah Amoako with Rich Atkinson
My Story: Hannah Amoako

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I always wanted a boyfriend, so when I got one, I started making compromises to be who he wanted me to be. I began skipping out on extracurricular activities and on school altogether. I did what he wanted me to do when he wanted me to do it even when I knew it was wrong. In order to be with him, I created a Hannah that was only his.

Soon, I created a new Hannah for every situation. At school, I had a foul mouth and was quick with a dirty joke, at home I tried to please my parents, and at church, I played the good girl. Eventually, it caught up with me. I was talking to a girl at church when I accidentally swore. She was shocked. I had splintered into four different Hannahs: each week was like reaching into a hat and pulling out a Hannah, hoping she was the right one for the situation. It was exhausting.

Balancing these different Hannahs was all I knew how to do, but I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it up. One day, when I was at school using my typical colorful language, a friend of mine asked me, “Why does someone so beautiful have to use such ugly language?” It was like God had spoken directly to me.

Growing up, I heard that we were designed to live in relationship with God, but I wasn’t doing that. I was searching so desperately for acceptance that I not only lived multiple lives, but I did things that I knew were wrong. The Bible calls this sin, and it was separating me from God. I was spiritually dead, but God loved me enough to provide the solution.

Two-thousand years ago, a man spent 33 years showing people how to live in relationship with God. This man was Jesus, and He wasn’t just any guy. He lived a perfect life. He never hurt, betrayed or lied to anyone. He willingly suffered the punishment that we deserved. He died so that we can live. Three days later, He rose from the dead, proving that He is God — He did this to show us His love. When we live in the light of being loved like that, our lives are changed, and we have hope for the future. God extends this incredible gift to each one of us.

I know that I don’t have to become someone else for God because He accepts me for me. I talked with God and was finally honest with Him. I agreed that my sin separated me from Him and that I was trying to live life apart from Him. I asked Him to forgive me, and I thanked Him for dying in my place. I told Him I wanted to live life His way and to be who He created me to be — the real Hannah, no more pretending.

 


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