I grew up in the church, so I have always known about God and who He is. I didn’t really start to know him personally until my freshman year of highschool. That entire year was pretty hard for me, I didn’t really have any good friends, my relationship with my dad wasn’t the best, and overall I felt really lost. At this time I felt very distant from God. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing with my life or why things kept turning out so bad for me. Once Ripple Effect started, that began to change a little bit. I was in a new small group, with a new leader, and in a house full of people I didn’t know. At first it was a little strange but I got comfortable very quickly. My small group started hanging out more and more outside of Ripple Effect. I had great friends and surrounded myself with amazing people but I still felt a little lost.
After my parents divorced, my dad and I haven't really gotten along. At this time in particular I just felt so down all the time because of it. Fuse that year was a huge turning point for me. The last night, Stuart was speaking about our relationship with God. He talked about how we should think of God as “Abba”, which means dad, rather than “father”. This hit me pretty hard because I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad. Stuart said that there were some of us there that didn’t have great relationships with our dads and that God loved us no matter what. I remember praying that night and just feeling myself get so much closer to God.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. This verse has impacted my life so much. I used to get upset with God any time something bad would happen but now I know it is part of his plan. I no longer stress about things out of my control and get upset over things that don’t go my way. I always say “if it’s supposed to happen, it will happen” because God knows how your life is going to turn out, so just give all your worries and doubts to him and trust that he has a plan for you.
Last year I struggled a lot with my self esteem. I realized how much being at my school had affected me. I couldn’t stand being around the teachers or most of the students. I felt like God kept telling me I needed a change and then my best friend, who couldn’t stand the school either, transferred to Waterview and a few weeks later I ended up transferring there too. Taking myself out of that school was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now I’m surrounded by people that make me feel good about myself and teachers who only want to see me succeed. After switching schools things just kept getting better and better.
I would say this past summer was the closest I’ve felt to God. I went on a mission trip and learned so much about not only him but myself. I have connected with so many amazing people that God brought into my life over this summer. I basically spent the entire summer talking to and spending time with God and I have never felt closer to him.
“God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime” I love this saying because it is so true and it makes me think about how everything on Earth is nothing in comparison to God. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you because God will always love you and that's all that matters.
I think that God has put me where I am at with school and work for me to reach out to my classmates and coworkers. There are a lot of them that don’t believe in anything, some just don’t like Christian stereotypes, and some don’t know who God is at all. Fortunately I have had the chance to discuss these things with a lot of them. They know I am christian so they come to me with questions and just to talk about things going on in their lives.
I am a Christian because I know how much God loves me and that he made me just the way I am. He put me on this Earth for a specific purpose and has a plan for my life. I have seen the way he works in my life and in other people's lives and I want to share his love with others