What was life like before you met Jesus?
I grew up in a Christian home and I feel like I have always known about God, but at the same time, I knew nothing about Him. I remember often doubting He was there, but being mostly indifferent. It wasn't until I was around 13, when a family member passed, that I became terrified of dying and the thought of heaven and hell. I knew God was real but I didn't know if He loved me or not, and I had never felt close to Him. I was living with the realization that I was a broken sinner but without hope and without knowing God's character. I knew that Jesus died for me but somehow it didn't help how distant I felt. I stopped praying because the thought of God reminded me that I didn't know where I was going when I died.
How did you meet Jesus?
Trying to avoid thinking of God didn't help my situation, it just made me feel worse. I decided to try reading my Bible which I had never sought to do on my own before. I read James 4:8 which says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." God allowed me to see that I needed a relationship with Him. If I wanted to feel close to Him, I needed to seek Him. All of the things I was taught growing up kind of clicked then. All of my fears didn't disappear then, but I felt hope knowing that God cared for me and He always had.
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
Since that day, I have messed up a lot, but God has continued to show His faithfulness to me and has made the gospel seem all the sweeter. I don't have to feel like I'm working for His approval anymore because I know that I never earned it in the first place. It is by God's grace that I can feel secure and want to do His will, instead of feeling a conditional obligation to. He showed His faithfulness by welcoming me as His own even after I had turned away. The prize is to know God, not to get heaven over hell. I now know God, know He is better, and know that I don't have to fear. Ephesians 1:13b-14 "When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory." Just as Christ died for the payment of my sins and rose again, I want to continue dying to my sin and living for Christ.