Updated: Oct 4, 2018
If you had sat me down 4 years ago and told me that Jesus is worth leaving everything - common and comfortable - I would of laughed in your face.
For a few years of my life I would find myself poking in and out of church services. I truly believed church was just "what good people did." You live your life throughout the week, and then curl your hair and smile your way through the entrance of the church on Sunday. You know, you greet the families, sing a song or two, and then you leave unaffected... not even phased.
I did not want to live a life unaffected by the Gospel.
For my entire life I have struggled with my identity. It seemed like I could never figure out who I was, although the outside appearance of athlete & homecoming queen spoke otherwise.
When I went to college I found myself engulfed in the party scene. It seemed like in a matter of seconds I laid buried in chains of addiction and self hatred. I was consumed with myself and neglected those who loved me. I felt worthless and unlovable. I spent more time covering up my issues with expensive clothes, shoes, and makeup than I did fixing them.
I remember the first time I went to a Chi Alpha Monday night service: Everyone greeted me at the entrance and hugged me... and hugged me... and hugged me again. It was so welcoming, but in the back of my mind I doubted if their love was genuine.
As worship began I noticed everyone around me raising their hands, some were even moved to tears as they kneeled down. I had never seen anything like it before - these people were different than any other Christians I had ever met. Their passion flowed through their words as they spoke about Jesus as if He was their best friend. When they prayed it oozed in adoration as well as reverence. Their love was genuine and their faith was authentic.
I continued to come to Chi Alpha for about a month before winter break rolled around. I was so intrigued by these new Jesus-loving friends I had made, but still felt as if I was "too far gone" for Jesus to ever love me - what a lie from the pit of Hell.
The weekend before spring semester I found myself buried once again in chains of addiction and self-hatred. Stricken with shame, I laid there crying when all of a sudden a thought came across my mind:
"I have more for you than this."
Such a thought would never come from the depressed, insecure, and anxious individual that I was.
Yet it swept across my mind and brought me to the end of myself. Completely undone in the presence of the Lord, I surrendered my life to Him. I did not need someone to quote Bible verses to me, or map out a plan of salvation - I just needed to experience the overflowing, relentless love of the Father and nothing more.
And in that moment my life was, and forever will be affected by the Gospel.