Discovering who I am in a relationship with God
I was born and grew up in a small town in rural North Carolina. I have a stable family and my childhood was fairly calm. Growing up in the south of the United States of America, known as the “Bible Belt” meant that most people called themselves Christians. My family went to church every Sunday, however, this had little effect on my life.
I didn’t think of God outside of those two hours on Sunday mornings. I didn’t read the Bible at home. I didn’t pray on my own. My life was more focused on what other people thought about me. I wanted to be liked by everyone around me. With each new group of people, I would try to be the person that I thought they would like. Good grades made my parents happy, staying out of trouble made teachers and other adults smile, and a new pair of nikes and some dirty words caught the attention of other kids at school. I spent so much time trying to be what others wanted me to be that I didn’t really know who I was. I remember many nights staring out my bedroom window and wondering if there was more to life than this, if God was real.
At University, I spent most of my time and focus on girls and partying. This meant the same old game of trying to guess who others wanted me to be. Then I met a group of men who were different. They were real friends who were kind and had a quality of life, which I had been trying to find. They were Christians, but God and the Bible seemed to really affect their whole life. After a few weeks, I needed to have a talk to God. I told Him that I wasn’t sure if He was real or if He heard me, but if He did, I was done. I was done living my life my way. I told Him that if He would lead, then I would follow. I also told Him I didn’t know what that meant completely.
God heard! I began to understand that living life in selfishness and doing things my way was called sin and it had separated me from God. Sin also included all the bad things I had thought, said or done. I also learned that God had sent Jesus to die for my sin. He offered me new life and forgiveness for my sin as a free gift. He offer a restored relationship with God. I also learned that He knew who I was and He loved me, which was impressive because I wasn’t sure that I knew who I was.
Since then life has been new and full. I have learned what it means to daily live in relationship with God. God’s word, the Bible, and His Holy Spirit have helped me to be me and to truly love other people. I still have a long way to go, and it's not always easy, but I know where I am going now! Jesus changed my life and he can change your life too!