I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church up until I was in second grade and we stopped going for about three years. In fifth grade one of my friends brought me to church with her and I realized how much I missed it and I encouraged my family to start going to church again. A year later I decided I wanted to give my life to God and get baptized. For the next several years I attended a Christian conference in Gatlinburg, TN called TCTC that I really enjoyed, and it helped me learn more about God.
I soon began high school and joined the volleyball team for two years. During that time, I grew a lot closer to God because practice was always really difficult for me because I did not have very many friends on the team and the practices were challenging physically. So, I realized I needed to rely on God to give me strength and to find security in Him rather than in fitting in with everyone else. Junior year I joined cross country and that was very difficult and pushed me to my limit every day. I also took a very challenging dual enrollment class that about kicked my butt and brought me a lot of anxiety. God really taught me during that time to trust that He is going to take care of me and that everything was going to be okay.
Fast-forward after high school, I soon got out of a toxic relationship. It really took a toll on me and I began to have a lot of doubt in who I am and what truly defines me. I stopped listening to who God says I am and began believing the lies of the Devil that I’m not worth it and that I am not good enough. Soon enough, later that summer I went to Quest at Radford and I saw all sorts of tables set up for different clubs. I then saw Chi Alpha and different campus ministries and something in me became really excited for what college had in store for me and I signed up for every single campus ministry. Once I came to college, I was invited by someone 2 days before school started to come to Something In A Mug at the lighthouse for Chi Alpha. She said that there would be food, so my friends and I were all in. After that, I went to large service, I joined a life group, and really became super involved in Chi Alpha.
Still, I was holding onto the past and was letting other things define me besides God. Soon enough, my small group leader encouraged me quite frequently that I should go to Fall Retreat. I had doubts about going because I knew that I would have homework to do, I didn’t have many friends going, and it honestly felt out of my comfort zone, but she talked me into it. I went and it changed my life forever. I rededicated my life to God and I surrendered all my hurt and regret and pain from the past and laid it at Gods feet. I could feel all the weight lifted from my shoulders. I soon began to be more vulnerable with people and I began to trust people more and was constantly reminded that I am a child of God and that He defines me. Then I went to SALT through Chi Alpha over Christmas break and it truly taught me the importance of prayer and the importance in being obedient to God. I used to get so caught up in worrying about what other people around me would think of me in the way I worship God. If they would find it weird if I raised my arms when worshipping or if I kneeled in prayer, but I learned to not worry about what others might think of me and to focus on God and to praise Him and to not hold back in worship. All this semester I have been growing so much and have been trying to make sure I have intentional time with God everyday, by reading in the Bible and praying, so I can learn more and grow closer in my relationship with Him. I continued to be active in Chi Alpha and now I’m training to be a small group leader for next year and I am super excited.
Ever since quarantine, my world seems to have flipped upside down, but I am constantly reminded that in the valleys and when you are weak is where God will grow you the most. God is never changing in the ever-changing world. Sometimes, I still forget that God is the one who defines my worth and I get really down on myself and I just feel like I’m worthless, but God continues to remind me that and I am enough because of the blood that He shed for everyone on the cross. I am a daughter of the Almighty God and I am so glad that He defines me.