What was life like before you met Jesus?
I spent the better part of my college years in relationships. When I was 20, I was in a relationship and I got pregnant. I had my son in 2014 and at that point, I was basically a single mom. His father wasn’t around much, and we didn’t get along very well because of that. Everything just felt very broken at that point in time. I felt unloved and unwanted. I started to buy into the idea that self-love would fix things for me. If I could just love myself more then maybe everybody around me would love me more and the world kept telling me I deserved to be happy and loved and I deserved every good thing. And just that thought that I could (and needed) to fix everything for myself was heavy, and in the end, it just destroyed me more than it was lifting me up. I didn’t really know where my life was going, except knowing I had a son that did need me and so I knew that something needed to change. I just could not figure out what to do.
How did you meet Jesus?
It was around 2019 when my son’s father started to show his faith in God and make changes. He was raised in a Christian home, but up until this point I didn’t see much of that faith. I can remember him sharing new convictions and apologizing for things in the past - things I hadn’t seen from him before. At this time, I was newly engaged to someone else, and things started to feel like they were easing into place a little bit better. Still, I was struggling. I didn’t understand how all the pieces would fit together. I still had this idea that the happiness of everyone depended on me, and that was a big undertaking that left me feeling depleted and resentful a lot of the time. Then in February 2020, my son’s father was involved in a car accident that took his life. Just when I thought there was some hope for reconciliation, it felt like a huge blow. That phone call was gut-wrenching for me. I remember just sitting on the floor thinking “God if you are there… why? Why would you take a child’s father away when there was finally hope? If you’re there I just need you to tell me why.” And at the funeral, that is exactly what God did. I stood in that funeral home completely torn that my son’s father was gone, and his mother stood there… strong, even joy-filled at moments. I didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand it. She had just lost her son and she was able to hold it all together while I was falling apart. The contrast was everything I needed to see to know there was a better way. And she said something along the lines of, “He’s with Jesus. He believed. It’s a victory.” And at first, I was still pretty confused by that statement. But there was also something that was stirred up in me, knowing there was truth to it. And so when I got home, I got a Bible… and I read it cover to cover in about a month. I couldn’t get enough of it. Looking back, I think it was Ephesians 2:8-9 that struck me to my soul. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” I was saved by a merciful God, through the work of Jesus, and I didn’t have to do anything to earn it. The world was no longer on my shoulders. I was free.
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
Since that day, I have been committed to living my life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. In April of 2020, my husband and I were married, and my husband adopted my son shortly after. God gave me a new life, and now I have the chance to live it in a God-honoring and glorifying way. I don’t know if there are really words to explain how salvation has changed me. It has touched absolutely everything in my life. I see everything from a completely new point of view. It’s like I took my entire life and just shoved it through this new, Biblical filter and not very much made it through. And now just kind of building everything up from that good, God-centered foundation. Truly, before I was saved, I had this idea that if God was out there, then my suffering was undeserved. That if there was a God it didn’t make sense for Him to allow bad things to happen to good people. Now that I know God, I know He is a God who permits suffering for His own glory, and that His mercy and love made the greatest thing happen to an undeserving, rebellious people – the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Because though I am a sinner, Jesus lived the perfect life that I couldn’t, and He chose to die on the cross to take the punishment that I deserved for my sin. And through this work, he has reconciled me to God. There is no gift sweeter than this. My life felt so confusing when I was stuck in the thick of it without God to guide me. Now, looking back and being able to see more clearly with a right view of God, I can see the ways in which He used everything for His glory. God is an awesome storyteller and He wrote me such a beautiful story, and I pray that I can glorify Him in sharing it. I know that through my faith in Jesus, I am saved. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23