What was life like before you met Jesus?
I grew up in a typical Christian family going to church and Sunday school every Sunday. At a young age, my dad would read my brother and me devotions every morning at breakfast and encourage us to memorize verses with him. Once I got to middle school, I was able to attend youth group at my local church. One day, my youth pastor asked us if we wanted to accept Jesus as our savior. It was the first time I had ever been asked the question directly. With me attending church regularly for a decade at this point, I knew a lot ABOUT Jesus and God, so I figured it would only make sense to say yes to this question but looking back on it, I don't think I truly knew what that meant. Throughout high school, I continued to go to church and youth group every Sunday night, but it felt more of your typical my parents are making me. At times, I told myself I would be a good Christian when I get older and have more time; I just want to enjoy high school now. I put much of my time and effort into running cross country & track and essentially put my identity in this rather than Christ. I thought, the faster I was, the more liked I’d be. By the time I was a senior, I was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t a Christian. I told myself that was okay because I had convinced myself I could make her a Christian when in reality, God is the only one who can change someone's heart.
How did you meet Jesus?
Going into college, my girlfriend and I broke up two days before, I had moved out of my parent's house and was living with two guys I had never met before, most of my friends had gone to different colleges, and I had just switched jobs, there were no athletics for me to compete with in college. Quite frankly, it felt like everything that I had been placing importance on was taken away from me. With everything changing so fast, literally in the course of a week, I didn't know what to do. But God did. A couple of weeks later had a friend that I went to youth group with in high school reached out about Salt. I was super uncomfortable about meeting new people, but hey what did I have to lose? Turns out, that was one of the best decisions I ever made. I never had that "ah-ha" moment but through joining Salt and hearing the gospel preached weekly I learned my identity was actually in Christ and not what I had been chasing as stated in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me."
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
From getting connected in this community and following Jesus, I’ve learned how to overcome sin in the past, present, and future. I now KNOW God rather than only knowing ABOUT Him. I’ve come to understand the importance of being uncomfortable; You can’t grow without getting out of your comfort zone. This is especially true when it comes to sharing the gospel. After all, comfort is worth nothing. Our only importance in life is testifying the good news of God’s grace for what he has done for me and you (Acts 20:24). What once was a "self-centered" view of Christianity (What can God do for me?), is now an outward facing(What can I do for God?) worship that has led me to even consider global missions which wasn't even a thought 2 years ago. It’s been a joy to see what God has done in my life and others around me and I am excited to see how God can use me to further His kingdom!