What was life like before you met Jesus?
Before I met Jesus, I struggled with mental health issues and trying to understand my purpose on this earth. I could never understand why I was dealt the cards I was dealt. When I was 15 months old I had cancer in my right eye called retinoblastoma, and it was growing too big to where chemotherapy was not the safest option. So, I had to get my right eye removed and I got a prosthetic eye. This was a big struggle for me once I got older, I kept questioning God and why he would do this to me. I didn't understand my plan. From this I fell into a bit of depression and self-doubt, I would sit at home on the weekends by myself longing to do something. Which later led to thoughts of suicide. Self-doubt played a part in that as well, I would get down on myself when I didn't perform as well as I should've in the sports I played, and it hurt a lot, I felt as if I wasn't needed in my teams to be successful. I was broken and it was hard for me to see what my future held, and I wasn't trusting God the way I should've. My desires were in the activities I was a part of, and even though they caused me struggles I still had those worldly needs before God. I would spend hours trying to get better at my sports and would become angry with myself. I thought being involved in athletics would make me a happier person as well as out of my mental health issues, but I just brought more pain and hardships.
How did you meet Jesus?
During my junior year of high school, I started to attend a youth group with some of my friends, this was starting to help me grow my faith in Jesus and acknowledge him as my savior. I still was struggling with the worries of this world and wasn't fully ready to devote my life to Christ, my worldly desires still conquered my life and were all I cared about. As I graduated high school and began to come to Salt on Thursday nights, my life began to look up. The way I saw the world, and how I went about my desires began to switch. The material things were still a majority, but I was seeing how that didn't need to be the case. I would say when I first realized I was saved and devoted my faith to Jesus, it was our first Worship night on November 29th I believe. During the day I was struggling a little bit because the next day was the 2 year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. He was my number 1 supporter in everything that I did, and losing him was tough. Once we began to worship that night, I felt as if I was lifted and all my stress and worries were suddenly gone. 1 Peter 5:7 "casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" was brought to my attention earlier this semester, and looking back that is exactly how I knew that I was saved and living a faithful life in Jesus.
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
The things I do at college have changed dramatically after I met Christ. I have been surrounded by a great community of fellow believers and people who truly care about me and want me to continue to grow my faith. I think Jesus met my needs when I decided to come to Coe College, my life has changed completely since I have been here. I have cast my worries onto the Lord and he has taken care of me. My desire for attention and praise has vanished because all the attention I need is from Jesus. My worldly desires have become minimal, I know that what is in this world is not forever, eternity in heaven with Jesus is forever. A verse that has always stuck with me is Jeremiah 1:19, "They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you". The way I interpreted this was about obstacles and struggles in life, that yes they might try to overtake you but, when you have your faith in the Lord, they won't succeed because God is with you.