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My ambition was to have fun, enjoy life and have the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
I was brought up in a non-Christian family and came to disbelieve in the existence of God in my late teenage years. My life revolved around partying, guys, friends, drugs and the weekends. My security and happiness came especially from alcohol and what others thought of me.
When I got to college, I developed a drinking problem. I was getting smashed at least four times a week whether I was alone or with friends. I would often prioritize alcohol (and cigarettes) over rent.
Alcohol was my confidence booster in social settings and my anesthetic behind closed doors. It numbed and suppressed the negative feelings I had about life.
I failed half my papers in my first year because I’d be too hung over to show up to lectures. I was insecure about my appearance and developed an eating disorder because I thought people would like me more if I was thinner.
Then, in my second year, someone from Student Life (as Cru’s campus ministry is called in New Zealand) approached me at St. David’s and showed me a short video on her iPod. I wasn’t too keen on chatting with a Christian, but I agreed since I was just waiting for class.
There were three main points that struck me from the video: 1) God loves us regardless of the bad things we do, 2) He’s always calling each of us into a relationship with Him, and 3) it’s up to us to make that decision to have a relationship with God.
She told me that it is through Jesus that we could begin a relationship with God.
I began asking a lot of questions and after exploring the answers I thought, "If this stuff is true, why not give a relationship with God a go? What am I going to lose? Then I’ll know for sure whether it’s legit and can reject or accept it accordingly."
Although I was afraid to change, I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my life in October 2008.
At first I was anxious, thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” But remembering how God loves me unconditionally and will never leave me helped to ease that anxiety.
Since then, I’ve seen a huge change in my outlook.
I know that complete security and happiness can only come from God, my Creator, who knows and loves me better than I know and love myself. I don’t have to look to what others think of me for value or acceptance. I no longer need to rely on alcohol to give me confidence or numb my problems. I don’t need to turn to a dangerous diet to make me physically acceptable to others.
Looking back at my life before knowing Jesus, I never want to go back to the way I was before. My life is still not perfect, and never will be on this earth, but my motivation for life now is to enjoy it to the full, showing others the same love that God has shown me.
Sarah is now a missionary intern with Student Life in New Zealand.
What’s your story? Did you become a Christian through Cru or any ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ? If so, tell us more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feeling valuable can influence your emotions, decisions and mental well being, so finding your value in things that last is important. Are the things you find your worth in satisfying you?
Sign up for our email series to learn more about placing your value in things that are truly satisfying.
When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
“... instead of having [people] accept me for who I was, I tried to change into the person I thought they wanted me to be.”
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