In keeping with the theme of me introducing myself, I thought I'd share my testimony with you. A testimony is such a Christian-y word. It's basically the story of God working through my life.
I grew up with two loving, Christian parents. I remember being in my room when I was about four and asking Jesus to come into my heart. I continued going to church and Sunday School and generally being a kid. I knew a lot about Jesus but it's hard to really know Him at such a young age.
In third grade, I transferred to a Christian school (and stayed there through high school graduation.) That school was both good and bad for me. It wasn't the most diverse, especially when I first came. I struggled with feeling beautiful while looking so different. The good part was that it gave me such a good foundation for my faith. Throughout elementary and middle school, I'd have these phases of being so on fire for God and then shifting into autopilot.
During high school, my faith started to solidify. There were hard times in high school. Family struggles. The loss of both of my remaining grandparents in less than a year. General drama. These things forced me to rely on God and on others for support. I learned that it was ok to ask God, "Why?" As in most high schools, everyone had labels. I think mine was a mix of the good Christian girl (yes, that label still exists at Christian schools) and the academic. When I look back at my high school self, I see a lot of insecurity, a lot of pride, and a lot of judgement. I didn't always love people well or unconditionally.
I couldn't wait to get out of my high school. Nine years with basically the same people gets really old. Post high school, I started reading books about my faith. They talked about who Jesus was and what he did and who he cared about. Jesus loved messy people. He hung out with the people it was politically incorrect to hang out with the prostitutes, the people from different ethnic groups, the diseased. He loved people well. He met their physical and spiritual needs. That summer changed my faith. I realized that faith was meant to be lived out. It's not just a private belief. That's where I am now, trying to figure out what it looks like for me to live my faith. I am beyond blessed. You are too. In most parts of the world, I'd be considered rich, even as a "broke" college student. I think Jesus wants more from me than a comfortable life. I'm trying to be open to his leading.
This isn't my whole story. I could post every day for a year about what God did and continues to do in and through me. If you have questions about what it means to actually start a relationship with Jesus, you can read my faith page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even email me if you completely disagree and you want to discuss things with me. I have friends who are atheist and agnostic and practice different religions. I'm always happy to chat about whatever.
Share the love,