So far, I have written a lot about what this summer will be like as I approach this Fall and start my Mission School journey. I think it’s time to share a little, however, about how I got to this point in my life. It’s time I share a little about how I came to know Christ in the first place and what inspired my passion for him and his people.
I grew up in an extremely loving, Christian home. I feel very blessed to have grown up in a place where I heard God’s word daily and was shown who he was. My parents were and are great examples for me in the faith. When I was younger, I attended a Christian elementary and middle school. I learned about God’s word daily. The problem was my heart. As I grew older, the bible became more like homework to me than reality. I knew the facts but I never had the relationship with him. That’s why when I entered high school I struggled so much.
In high school I was hit from every side. Having a firm knowledge of the bible I knew what was right and wrong, but I fell into temptation because I didn’t know the creator. I had low self esteem and just wanted people to like me. That’s why I rebelled a little bit in high school. I hung out with the wrong crowd and did a lot of things I today regret. I still went to the church I grew up in, but I really didn’t understand what it meant to be a follower of Christ at this point in my life. I didn’t abandon the faith completely as I still had a moral compass about me and I still had my wonderful family members to be an example to me, but something was missing.
When I got to college, my first week as a freshman shook me to the core. It was a new place, in a new environment, with new people. I hated everything about it. I felt alone. I was alone. That’s when my RA told me about a group on campus called His House. I knew it was a Christian group so I thought I’d give it a try. That’s when God took hold of me and shook my beliefs to the core. He not only gave me great friends and a community at school, he also showed me who he was and what grace TRULY meant. I met people who were living examples of Jesus Christ. They showed me what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. They lived out what they believed and I wanted what they had. I continued to learn about God and grow in my faith. Two years later, I was baptized in Lake Michigan and Christ claimed me to be his own. He proclaimed a relationship with me that I had long ago left sitting on the sidelines in my life. Christ claimed ME to be his child not because of anything I did, but because of what HE did for me on the cross. He signed the adoption papers. He made me his beloved child. He claimed me as his Bride.
“I am my Beloveds and he is mine” Song of Songs 6:3
This is the time in my life when I was on fire for Christ. I was so joyful about what he did for me, I could do nothing else but tell others about him. God never promised life would be easy as his follower, however.
Last year, I started feeling lonely. I think a lot of the stuff I had done in High School started catching up with me. I felt a lot of regret and a lot of guilt. I started to become depressed. This began the current season of my life. A season of Depression and Mental Illness. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this as I am still struggling through it and don’t want it made public. (If you would like to hear more about this side of my story, feel free to ask me in private. I’m not ashamed of it and would love to help anyone else in need) There is one thing I think is relevant to the Mission School however that i want to share.
As I have struggled with depression, I have developed a deeper understanding of the human condition. I understand a level of pain most people can’t even comprehend. I believe God has blessed me with this knowledge so that I can help others in their pain. My heart breaks for those who are broken. This gives me purpose. It gives me hope. Through Christ, I have a purpose, I have worth. I want to share this hope with others even more now, because honestly, I wouldn’t be alive without it.
God placed the call to mission school in my life right when I needed it most. I had no idea where I was going in school and in life. This reminded me I have a greater purpose. Now, going through this journey, I’ll be able to use the gifts God has blessed me with to share the joy he has given me and tell people about the richness of his grace.
Thanks for taking the time to read a little of my testimony. I pray you now understand a little bit more about why I’m so passionate about this. 🙂 Love you all.
“Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19