I was blessed to have grown up in a Christian home. My parents made sure I was at Sunday school and church every week. I was in Children’s Choir, AWANA, GA’s, VBS, the whole nine yards; and I loved every second of it! When I was about six, I went down front and got “saved.” I knew that’s what you were supposed to do to go to heaven, I’d heard all the Bible stories and believed the Bible was true; I had all the head knowledge but lacked the heart. I went through the motions and got baptized and made my parents proud of me, but I experienced no change.
Fast forward to Go Tell Camp 2007. It was the summer going into my seventh grade year and I was finally old enough to go to youth camp. I was so excited about camp and being with my friends and didn’t really even put a second thought into what God would have planned for the week. The first night we were there, Rick Gage spoke. I don’t have the slightest memory as to what he spoke about because to be quite honest I wasn’t paying that much attention. But at the end of his message he gave an invitation and I burst into tears. I truly felt God calling me for the first time. Not only was my head ready but my heart was wide open. I went down front and truly accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior; I had finally experienced a real change and could immediately tell a difference for I felt whole.
The summer after freshman year my best friend, Tyler, passed away in a terrible ATV accident. It took me totally by surprise and I didn’t know what to do. I never would’ve made it through this terrible time without God to comfort me and my church family to help guide me through this and keep me focused on what really mattered. Knowing that I will see Tyler again one day kept me going and continues to even to this day.
Skip a little more into the future and we’re at the summer going into twelfth grade. I had wandered far away from God and didn’t do much to try and get back to him. I was trying to make it on my own and it made for a very dark senior year. I was struggling with anxiety and pressures of not being good enough for schools and scholarships, I couldn’t please everyone and it was driving me insane. To top it all off I was in a relationship that definitely wasn’t Christ centered, but I finally had a boy that appreciated me – so I thought- and I didn’t really care.
A year later, shortly after graduation, I found myself once again at Go Tell Camp. As the days passed at camp I felt more and more convicted until finally, I called my boyfriend at the time (one day after our one year anniversary) and told him about what I was experiencing. After several hours on the phone and many tears shed, we ended things. That night I rededicated my life to the Lord and since then I’ve been closer to God than ever before. I must admit that it is a daily struggle to be a Christian in college, but I pray for strength to choose God in this world of distractions. I have recently listened to His call by giving up MY plan that I’ve had since I was a little girl to be a dentist and following HIS plan to switch to a career path of occupational therapy in order to help those with special needs live their lives to the fullest and to minister to them and their families by spreading His love.
About this time last year, I applied to be a counselor at Cedar Lake and was rejected because there were too many returning female counselors; leaving me without a spot. I was very disappointed and didn’t understand why this was happening. I had been so excited to serve at the camp that had been such a huge part of my spiritual growth throughout the years and then all of a sudden my summer plans were flipped upside down. I couldn’t comprehend how something that I knew God had called me to do couldn’t work out. But as they say, “hindsight is 20/20” and shortly after receiving the call from Cedar Lake I found out my grandmother would be having shoulder surgery immediately following the end of my spring semester at the University of Louisville. Her surgery would leave my thirteen-year-old cousin with Down Syndrome without a caregiver for the summer. While I had followed God’s call to apply to Cedar Lake, I couldn’t see the bigger picture. I had to obey and let that door be shut before the next part of His plan could be revealed. I was blessed beyond measure by getting to spend so much time with my best friend this summer and it was a truly beautiful reminder that He is always in control and will provide for me every step of the way as long as I trust Him.
If you have any questions about my story or would like to know more about it or God's love please ask away. I would love to hear from others and how He is working in their lives as well. In Christ's love, Allie.