I first started going to church at Saint Marks when I was three and moved to PC3 when it was at Roland Grise and have stayed here until now. My parents would always make me go to church, but I never really enjoyed it until Tsunami and Treasure Island, because the student ministry is so much fun. I think the first time I really felt connected with God was two years ago at Fuse. When Stuart spoke I really felt him there. It was almost as if I was just going through the motions before and he really opened my eyes. These past two years at Fuse have been turning points for me. I really started taking my faith into my own hands. I’ve started journaling and trying to do quiet time on a regular basis. And it has gotten a lot easier for me now that I have really heard and seen God. I think I definitely felt closest to God this past year at Fuse. And there have definitely been times where I felt something happen because of him and I felt him doing things in my life.
At dinner one night I had this conversation with my parents about where I wanted to go with soccer. I said that I wanted to play in college and they told me I had to work way harder than I was now. God made the right people have the right conversation at the right time and it has made me realize that it’s something that I really need to put more time into. I am really glad that we had that talk when we did because now I am going to try a lot harder and make it happen. God has been putting the right people in front of me all of my life saying what I need to hear and helping me with everything. Dawn Oxendine is one, she offered to help me keep up with doing quiet times every day and I really appreciated that and I’m going to take her up on it. Another would be Jim Gratton, he has been one of the key people in my life. My first year at Fuse he was my fill in small group leader and we really connected. He has always been someone I go to if I need to talk and he has always encouraged me in my journey of faith. He was a big reason for me coming to ripple effect.
Adjusting from middle school to high school was a pretty big struggle for me. I guess I never really had to study in middle school, those three years I didn’t really have to work for my A’s. This past year I really had to work for it. I get pretty good grades but there are some classes that I just really struggled with. So this year I decided I really needed to put my faith in God and and trust that he would help me get back on track and he did.
Journaling has really helped me with so much in life. For me it’s just writing as if I am talking to God, putting down things I need help with and what he has done for me. It helps me figure things out day to day and helps me in prayer. It helps me gather my thoughts and what I need to pray about.
All of the songs that we sing at Ripple Effect and Fuse have impacted me but one specifically is Cornerstone by Hillsong. It makes me realize that whatever you're going through and whatever hardships you have, none of it really matters because he is there and he is the cornerstone for you, something to hold onto in the midst of chaos.
There's a lot of different things people have said to me over the years but one thing that really impacted me was “make the most of every situation.” A lot of times we get put into bad situations and our first instinct is to complain. I am trying to always see the upside to things and do what I can with whatever situation I am in.
One of my friends is atheist so I don’t really talk about God directly around or to him. A lot of times I feel like there’s not much I can do, which is discouraging, but I think if people see me living my life through God and making the best out of everything they see how God has influenced me. I think that starts with me bringing him up more to my friends, even though it’s hard. I always try and show God through my actions by doing the right thing and standing up for others.
I am a Christian because I have been made with a purpose and I have been made to spread God’s word and show people that God saves and loves everyone. Even the people that have done horrible things, God still loves them no matter what. No matter what happens God will always be there for you.