Here I am writing a blog when I should be doing much more productive things once again.
I’m going to write out my testimony since I’ve been saying I would do it for approximately 100 years now (that’s an exaggeration obviously). A lot of you probably don’t know it or only know some of it. And some of you do know it, but probably heard it out loud when my words sounded something along the lines of “iajmfivojaerm” (p.s. I’m much better at writing than talking if you haven’t noticed). Here we go.
I’ve been to church my whole life. In fact, I’ve been going to the same church my whole life. It’s a small, traditional, Southern Baptist church. I like it. I grew up with a lot of people thinking I was already saved. If it wasn’t a lot, then it sure felt that way. It wasn’t until I was 15 when I finally realized that I was in desperate need of Jesus. It might sound crazy, but I was actively in church for 15 years and had no clue what it was to be a Christian. I look back and I honestly have no idea why I didn’t get it. There were SO many opportunities for me to easily pray the prayer and turn away from sin, but it never clicked. There was absolutely nothing. But I heard it said once that God saved you when you least deserved it. I think that was me. I think before the Holy Spirit started calling me I wasn’t at my lowest. I didn’t need Him the most until then.
I’m glad it wasn’t until then, though. Because I know for a fact, I wouldn’t be the Christian I am today if I hadn’t gotten saved at the exact moment I did. Everything happens for a reason right?
Anyway, a year passed (from the moment I finally felt something) of guilt, leaving the church service when the invitation rolled around, praying so hard that God would keep me around because I was certain I wasn’t going to Heaven if I died and outright ignoring and disobeying God. It was truly miserable. It’s the most miserable I can remember ever feeling (but my memory sucks soo…). Because so many people thought I was already saved, I was terrified to make it publicly known that I wasn’t a Christian. I was a fake. I didn’t want people to know that (p.s.s. I also have this super annoying thing where I want people to like me).
So then, one day in the summer when I was 16, I was yard/garage selling with my mom, sister, aunt and cousin. We were in the car, and somehow it was brought up that I was the only person in the car who didn’t know Jesus (thanks a lot, guys). Then it gets a little fuzzy (refer back to my memory). But I know there were tears then I went home and prayed with my dad, but before I did I made him promise to not make me get baptized (I’m dumb). That lasted for a good month or so but then my pastor was all like “Hey. It’s time now. Get your butt in the water.” (not exactly like that but kinda close) So I got baptized on the same day as 2 (ish?) other people. One of them was my aunt’s best friend. She had been saved for a while but was too scared to get baptized (like me!) so we seriously bonded over that. Spoiler… we both made it through without dying like we thought so that was good! It was good. It needed to be done.
The rest of high school I could see myself growing more mature in my faith kind of. I think at that point I was more at a standstill. I wasn’t necessarily progressing, but I wasn’t moving backwards either. I was just there. That was until I got to college.
College has changed me so much that I don’t even like myself before it (not really but maybe). I got super involved with a ministry called the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. There I have truly learned what being a Christian is. I’ve grown so much in my faith in three years that I actually have a hard time believing it because of that ministry. The people, the activities, the everything is just so wonderful, and I couldn’t thank God enough for placing Rebekah (amazingly fantastic BCM alum who also goes to church and is also one of my best friends) into my life and for her for introducing me to the BCM. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
I’ve also grown so much more comfortable with my position as a YOKE folk (crazy college kid who likes to hang out with middle schoolers). That first year of me being a YOKE folk was rough. I was TERRIBLE. But now, I love every single minute of it, and I’m actually not that bad at it. Middle Schoolers are fantastic. And so is Jesus. Why not combine the two?
And just overall, I feel closer to God than I ever have before, and that’s the point. Continual growth is what I strive for. My hope is that tomorrow I’ll be stronger than I am today and so on. I’m not perfect (or anywhere close), but I try my absolute hardest to be as much like Jesus as I can. I fail. But He forgives me, and I’m so glad for that. I didn’t deserve salvation, but He’s just wonderful like that.
p.s.s.s. I’ve also changed quite a bit of my opinions on various topics since I got to college but that’s a blog for another day. Like I’m actually embarrassed by my previous opinions but it’s fine. All is good.