What was life like before you met Jesus?
I always felt the need to chase the next "thing", whether it be a gathering with friends, or trying to get drunk, or something else. Each time I did something, whether it was work or recreation, I felt empty inside because I never felt fulfilled doing it. I only ever did something because I had to or because it felt nice at the moment. In this mode of emptiness, I developed an overly "scientific" view of things, where I thought "if we just had the right facts, the right knowledge, and the right government, etc., everything would be great!". As an engineering student, this may seem like a noble thing. Indeed, knowledge is a good thing, but it was never oriented toward anything higher, and that always induced a sense of meaninglessness in my life.
How did you meet Jesus?
I was at the Salt Co fall retreat in 2019. During one of the night sessions, we learned about John chapter 4. This was about Jesus's encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. The verse John 4:14 stuck out to me: "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Before this point in time, I had never internalized a Bible verse quite like this one. I thought about this for weeks later because it applied so perfectly to my life. I used to feel a sense of emptiness whenever I finished "drinking" the cup (chasing the next "thing", engaging in sinful behavior). This was in stark contrast to a new way of life - of having fulfillment in Jesus instead of anything else; a cup that never ran out because Jesus's love for us never runs out. I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see this fact because I never viewed my life the same way ever again.
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
I felt like my entire view of the world changed, and my life was on a completely different trajectory. I was feeling much happier in life, even though I was aware of bad things happening in the world. I felt motivated to go to church instead of being annoyed by it. The conciseness of my behavior advanced to the point where I quit 2 addictive behaviors in the same month (consuming nicotine and pornography) and reduced my alcohol consumption to only social situations. I feel like this shift in my life, from sinful emptiness to passionate love, is encapsulated perfectly by Romans 8:20-21: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God."