Growing up, I did live in a Christian home. However, my parents and I didn’t go to church regularly. My parents couldn’t seem to find the right church and Christian community for us. Even though we didn’t go to church every single Sunday, my mother and grandmother taught me a lot about Jesus. I had two God fearing women in my life who always carried themselves with Grace in all situations. At the age of 10, my sweet grandmother passed away after fighting breast cancer for twelve years. I was devastated. My grandmother was my best friend. However, for ten years, God blessed me with her, and I was able to learn so much about the Lord from her. A few years after my grandmothers passing, at the age of fourteen, my parents decided to get a divorce. I was devasted because it had always been us three taking on the world together. I didn’t like the idea of having to live in two different homes going back and forth.
Shortly after my parents separation, my mom had an offer to sing in Christ Chapels worship band. We started to go to church every single Sunday. All through my adolescence, I knew that I was loved and cherished by my parents and family members, but I still had this void in my heart. It wasn’t until I went to Christ Chapel that I realized that only Jesus could fill this void in my heart. He broke the chains of anxiety and depression that I had experienced for months. He reached his hand and pulled me out of the darkness. I finally knew true love. I learned that I had a father in heaven who cherished me and loved me. I learned that I was a daughter of the one true king. It was on September 21 , 2014 that I was water baptized. Fast forward to high school. Throughout most of my High School career, I felt so different from everyone else. I didn't join the party scene and I tried each day to remain faithful to God. I just felt out of place. Even though High School was tough at times, God blessed me with my best friend Katie. Together, we always pushed each other to remain true to the Lord and his promises for us. I honestly couldn't have made it through without her.
Fast forward to college. In the fall semester of 2019, I found a Christian ministry called Chi Alpha at Radford University. My first semester at Radford was one of the hardest seasons of my life. I Slipped back into anxiety and depression. I was basically failing all of my classes, and I found it difficult to get out of bed everyday. I didn’t want to get ready and I didn’t want to go to classes. I wanted to isolate myself from everyone. I was so lost. I distentcaly remember praying on my hands and knees in my little apartment in Radford, and I prayed that he would give me a sign. I told him if he didn’t give me this sign I was going to leave Radford and I was going to go back home and do online school. I had signed up to go to fall retreat but I really didn’t want to go. I felt that the Lord was telling that I needed to go on this trip.
At fall retreat, I was re-baptized on September 21, 2019. As I was on my way back home from fall retreat, I see a Facebook memory on my phone of a picture that my mom had posted of the first time I was baptized. The date said September 21, 2014. I thought to myself, there is no way, she must have posted this photo the day after I was baptized. No, she posted that photo the day was I was baptized. He gave me my sign. It wasn’t just a sign, I knew that the Lord had, still has, and will forever has his precious hand upon me and my life. God was telling me to go back to him. He was telling me to go back to where it all started. I knew he was telling me to go back to him, my first love. Throughout this year, I have matured in my faith and have grown so much spiritually. I am forever thankful for Chi Alpha. I am thankful for the leaders who taught me what true devotion and dedication to Jesus looks like and the heart of discipleship. God has blessed me with a Christian Community who seeks to serve God and build his kingdom. Thank you Jesus, my first love, for showing me what it truly means to seek your face, to seek your kingdom, and to serve you wholeheartedly.
-1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.