My first time attending church of my own volition was in 2010. I mean, I was going because my cute boyfriend went there, but that still counts, right? I was 20 years old, severely depressed and highly curious.
Leading up to this, my life had been spinning out of control. Shortly after graduating high school, my relationship with my then-boyfriend fell apart. To spare you the details, I’ll just say that at 18 years old I didn’t have the maturity or world experience to understand that my life wasn’t over. I thought it was – I really did. I wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with my feelings, so I self-medicated with alcohol. Like, a lot. Like, I probably spent the greater part of a year drunk.
It was during this time that Derek, the aforementioned cute boyfriend I was going to church for, came back into my life. We were previously friends in high school and we reconnected through Facebook. Derek quickly became my safe space. Our relationship progressed slowly, as I obviously had some issues to sort through. After six months of dating, I finally agreed to go to church.
I didn’t like the way church made me feel. It stirred up a lot of emotions – feelings of guilt and shame mostly. But I was intrigued and I loved the people. They were all so friendly and seemed so happy I was there.
I kept attending consistently. Sunday school too. I read a lot, and not just the Bible – other books too! I was hungry for the truth at this point and wanted to be sure that I was making an educated decision. My family wasn’t saved and I wanted to be able to justify my decision to them if necessary.
It was in April of 2011 that I asked Jesus into my heart and made him Lord of my life. My pastor led me in prayer with the congregation at the end of a sermon and hugged me afterward.
God has made many changes in my life since then. He’s convicted me of many worldly issues and situations, and, with careful prayer, He has aligned my heart with His Word. I’ve seen His love, mercy, and grace over and over. At this point in my life, I’m facing some spiritual warfare and I am so grateful that I buried His Truth in my heart when I did, because there are days where I’m clinging to it now. He’s teaching me that emotions are fickle but that His Word is everlasting.
My Favorite Passages