I grew up believing in God and going to church but there was no enforcement of the Gospel in my household for a good chunk of time. From the age of 9 to 18 I lived with my father and step family, none of whom were Christians. During this time I suffered the brokenness of several forms of abuse and a lack of provision and support from the family I lived with. On weekends and some times throughout the week, my mom was the one who took me to church and introduced me to what life in Christ looked like. However, because of these competing environments, I was not challenged to use the disciplines of the Christian life outside of church settings and contexts. I was mainly focused on moral goodness and being sure to pray over my food before I ate. What I did gain was a love for serving the church. My mom encouraged me to get involved in creative youth ministries that helped me experience freedom from my sufferings while expressing myself through song and dance. Approaching my early teens, I began to understand that my sin separated me from God. My desires shifted from being morally good in order to please other people, or separate my identity from that of my household, to fighting sin in order to please God. Around the age of 14 I made the decision to live my life for Christ.
Coming from the last few years of high school and going into college at Northern Kentucky University, I was used to serving God through Christian activities. I failed to see that since accepting Christ I had equated my love for God and validated my relationship with Him by the teams, organizations and leadership I was a part of. Toward the end of my sophomore year, after being challenged to trust God with some financial issues, I realized that I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior but did not openly and willing sacrifice control over many areas of my adult life. I knew I wanted to start trusting Him, but how? In the fall of my junior year Campus Outreach came to NKU and many of the staff began spending time with the Gospel Choir I was on executive board for. Through CO I was introduced to a group of believers who were willing to reach out, love on me, and nurture my spiritual growth. Having the blessing of being connected to Taylor Babbs, I was truly discipled for the first time. Never before had I felt the weight of my daily sin so heavily, yet had so much hope that my life was valued by the Creator and that He TRULY, TRULY loved me in spite of how undeserving I was of His grace and mercy. Taylor helped me start the healing process in many areas of brokenness in my life by challenging the root of my busy habits and pointing me to Jesus. Up to this point no one had, to this extent, invested in me as an individual. As I saw Taylor and other staff do the same with a lot of my friends, the Lord showed me His love and pursuit of me through how they pursued students. I pray that I can show that same pursuit as I work faithfully on the campus to impact the eternities of broken, lost college students.