I became a Christian when I was 5 years old. I grew up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday, being very involved in Sunday school classes, BSF Bible studies when I was a kid, and hanging out around the church people- so hearing about Jesus in everyday conversations and life was not surprising or unexpected in my family. I had just told my mom a lie that she caught me in and told me that she didn’t like it when I tried to lie to her, but more importantly, Jesus wanted to be my friend and he didn’t like it when I lied to my mom and to Him. I felt so bad about lying to Jesus and wanted his forgiveness and help to not keep being a sinner so we could be friends forever that I asked my mom to help me become a Christian.
Ever since I became a Christian I really tried to be a good Christian because of a deep desire to be one. I wanted to learn about God and Jesus and tell my friends about Him because I knew Jesus was my friend, God was my Heavenly Father who cared for me, and the Holy Spirit was the Helper that made His Presence very felt in my life and I wanted my friends to have them too. Looking back, I can really see how God has worked in my life to grow me into a more mature Christian and stretch me past my comfort zone to keep me growing and trusting in Him during my K-12 inner city, public school years. Attending a public school during my formative years really helped me see the real “struggle” to live out and talk about my faith in Christ in a setting where not every one agreed with me, others ignored me, and few really wanted to know what made me so different from everyone else. During those years He also showed me how vital the Church was to the growing, challenging, and comforting of Christians because I lived for Sunday morning church services and Wednesday night youth group meetings during high school because I felt so out-casted and alone due to my sincerity to follow Christ without compromise. I wanted to go to a Christian college because I wanted more understanding about why I believed what I believed and to be able to ask questions about God in a safe place where my faith would be challenged while being encouraged. Covenant College was a wonderful place that did just that and God used those years to bring people into my life that mentored me by asking challenging and uncomfortable questions and forced me to really confront myself, I met professors who encouraged me to wrestle well with God, and great friends who reminded me of the Gospel and Jesus’ love.
I know I still have a lot to learn and grow in my relationship with the Lord. I struggle to spend focused personal time with God and His Word, but I know that God is still refining me. I have had times where I have felt God close and other times when I’ve cried out asking if He was really ever there to begin with. I’ve had moments where I’ve seen God use me to be an encouragement and servant to others and other moments when I’ve sinned and thought that God could never use me- But the King of Grace still reigns and calls me Beloved. There have been many themes and seasons God has taken me throughout my life to teach me about who He is, how I should live. He has also taught me what it means to be a humble servant leader, and to really understand the depths of His redeeming grace and unconditional love. I know there will be more lessons God will teach me and stretch me as I walk with Him. To God be the honor and glory, forever and ever.