“Getting to know Christ isn’t about becoming somebody else or something you’re not, it’s about becoming more of the person you were always intended to be.”
Six years ago, I made a life-altering decision, one that has transformed the trajectory of my journey in ways I’ll never know. One person’s life made me question what I believe in and hope in, challenged me in where I find my comfort, and answered questions I never even knew I had. This is the story of how one person pursued my heart in a way that has made me forever changed.
You could say I grew up in a normal, average American home. We lived in a small town, my parents were loving and intentional and we went to church every Sunday. I grew up Catholic and was taught the importance of God, prayer being a large part of that, but I didn’t know him personally. I understood him to be like a judge, who wanted me to stay on the straight and narrow, or a father, who expected me to be a “good” kid. We didn’t read the Bible but we did talk about the way God wanted us to live.
As a child, I didn’t have many spiritual conversations but the few I did have, I remember. When I was in 8th grade, I went to a friend’s sleepover. There was one of the first times I heard the gospel presented in a simple way. For the most part I understood it and that night I prayed to receive Christ. They gave me a Bible and sent me on my way. With little follow-up or mentoring in what I was supposed to do next, my life didn’t transform or change in a major way. A few summers later, I recall having a conversation with my friend, saying “If we try to live a good life, how could we not make it into Heaven? God knows we can’t be perfect.”
Even though I was still trying to understand what God expected from us, it was clear He was pursuing me… teaching me about his love and his Word through people and experiences. Deep in my heart, I wanted to know more; I just never felt there was an opportunity – whether time, place or person – that was able to speak into this.
Through high school and most of college, my life looked like everyone else’s. I would claim I was a Christian, probably confusing some people along the way, but I was really just a church-goer. Entering my junior year, we were required to live in the sorority house on campus. The President of the sorority at the time was intentional in getting to know me and invited me to be part of a Greek life Bible study with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). I politely declined, more than once, but that didn’t stop her from seeking my heart and repeatedly offering an invitation. After the New Year (2012), I finally accepted.
I didn’t realize it at first, but looking back there was a void in my heart for most of my life, which became more apparent in college. I wouldn’t have categorized myself as unhappy or weary, but I was constantly seeking approval and joy in things that couldn’t possibly hold firm. I sucked life out of friendships because of my expectations, gave men the time of day when they didn’t intend to be with me for more than a night, and built up my feelings of worth by seeking an internship around every corner.
When I accepted my friend’s invitation, I had no idea the transformation that lay ahead over the next two years. A girl I met in the small group shared the gospel with me over coffee one day. She talked about God’s love for us, our sin that separated us, Christ’s sacrifice to die/rise/intermediate for us, and the options we had in response. It was the first time I had heard it in a digestible, easy-to-understand way. My sin was clear and I didn’t have confidence, at that point, that I would spend eternity with God if I died. I decided that day to invite Christ into my life.
After this decision, my life started to change – things that were once comfortable started to become increasingly uncomfortable and sharing my faith, once unthinkable and unimaginable, became more familiar and desirable in my heart. Getting to know Christ isn’t about becoming somebody else or something you’re not, it’s about becoming more of the person you were always intended to be.
Since then, God has been so faithful in pursuing me, stretching me and showing me his goodness and ever-increasing glory. God has been so gracious to use me to further His Kingdom on earth and share His love with people who, just like me, were putting their hope and identity in things that will eventually fade away. He is unchanging, everlasting, never-ending, unfailing, all-powerful, just and gracious all at the same time. Your life in Him will be far less expected than anything you could have planned for yourself, but far more joyful than all you could dream of. He formed us and, when we ask him to come into our life, admitting we aren’t the best captain of our ship, he will use us according to our unique gifts and talents.
It’s been 6 years since that life-changing decision and God has done so much. He allowed me to thrive in singleness without any longing for someone to comfort me. He gave me courage to take a step of faith and go to Slovenia with Cru for a year. I felt so inadequate but the Lord allowed me to see multiple women come to enter into a relationship with Him. He provided a sweet friendship with a man there who would become my husband a few years later. He broke the chains of struggles with family members, brought us to a new city and continued to provide for every desire. I’m still weak and the struggle is still real but, in it, He is constantly growing me into the person He always intended me to be… the person He created me to be.
If you don’t know Christ, or even just the basics of the Gospel, I urge you to start by asking questions. Don’t take my word for it, seek to find what’s actually true. Earnestly seek though… and decide for yourself if Christ really is who He says He is. I’m confident if you earnestly seek, your life will never be the same.