I grew up going to church, the first church I remember attending was PC3 when I was 4, When my family moved back to Maryland, we did not go to church on a regular basis. A few years later we moved back to Wilmington and continued going to Port City Community church. I personally first started to learn about who God was, when I was 9 or 10, in my small group at Treasure Island. In seventh grade I got sick, and was in the hospital for two weeks, at this point I felt like I had lost a connection with God, but also built upon my existing relationship at the same time.
I remained faithful through this time, even when I did not know what was going on. I knew that God had kept me alive, and had answered prayers that most people would think impossible. This strengthened my faith. After I was better, I stopped going to Tsunami, because I was afraid. Due to the time I spent away from youth group I felt alone, and I was not taking time in my day to spend with God.
A few years later, I decided to go back to youth group, and try out Ripple effect. This day was important to me, because it was my small group leader Ashley’s last day, which I was not aware of, but because of this I decided to join Lisa Scribner's group to be with my friends. This was a turning point in my faith, because I was apart of a group- one that helped me grow in my walk with God. I am thankful that my small group stayed together through High School, because during my Junior year I had a stroke. This was the biggest turning point in my faith.
From the time I had the stroke, I knew God was with me, I knew that even when the doctors did not know if I would live, that God had a plan for me. I was able to see God working in me every step of the way. I could not see or walk, but each day I continued to remain faithful, and would remind myself of the verse “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. This has always been my favorite verse, and it helped me through this tough time, because it was a constant reminder that God did have a plan for my life, and having the stroke was a part of his plan, and that I needed to trust in him, no matter how scared I was.
I am so grateful to all those who prayed for me, and that I never felt God leave my side. I feel that by sharing my story I can thank God. At first I was afraid to tell others that I had a stroke, but I have learned that it is not something I should be ashamed of, but something I should be praising, because I can use this to show others how God has impacted my life.
My biggest piece of advice that I have taken from this experience is to not let the fear of what others might think stop you from telling your story. I feel that I can use my story to encourage others at church, or school that they do not have to be afraid to talk about their relationship with God.