HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!! HE IS RISEN! To celebrate this special day, I have decided to share my personal testimony of accepting Christ into my heart. I pray that it blesses you on this special day.
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was in 7th grade, at a weekend retreat for my youth group. I had previously thought I accepted the Lord into my heart when I was eight years old, and I was even baptized the following year. But now I realize my reasons for “professing” my faith at that young age was superficial and incorrect.
Like others my age, I had accepted Christ because it seemed fun and cool and everyone else was doing it. I had grown up in a household where talk about Jesus and God was frequent and open, attending church every Sunday and knowing all of the right answers in Sunday school. The “next step”, in my mind, was to accept Jesus into my heart and be baptized. It was only logical.
The experience that sticks in my mind as my “conversion” experience was at this retreat when I was in the 7th grade. I had gone, somewhat begrudgingly, at the coaxing of my parents. At this point, I was rather uncomfortable in my church’s youth group, with very few friends and personal issues I was struggling with. What I remember the most, however, was the speaker’s sermons. Especially on the first night of the retreat.
Us students were shown a bunch of pictures by the speaker and we had to decide whether they were genuine or digitally altered. In other words, real or fake? The pictures were fairly obvious, and the game seemed fun. Until the last picture flashed onto the screen and my heart sank. It was a black screen that just said YOU. The speaker ended the night by asking us “If you died tonight, are you confident that you would go to heaven and be with Jesus?”
I was saddened to realize that I didn’t know where my soul would go when I die. I finally realized that knowing all the bible verses and being the perfect kid meant nothing if I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. No amount of good deeds could ever bring me to Him. That was when I truly came to terms with my fallen nature and accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I no longer felt any pressure to have all of the answers right or to know the most Bible verses. I no longer had to go through life on my own. Everything I did, I had Jesus by my side, guiding me and comforting me in the hard times.
This became very evident when my family had to deal with the aftermath of my younger brother being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. (Which is another story for another time). My parents were unable to support me as they were dealing with their grief from the changes in our lives. The only one I could turn to was Christ. It reminds me now of something I heard a pastor said one time: “You have to hit rock bottom to realize that Jesus is the rock”.
My journey of faith has become such a vital part of my life that I honestly can’t imagine what I would do if I couldn’t turn to God when all hope seems lost. Every new friendship I form with someone who doesn’t personally know Jesus fills me with excitement and gratitude for a chance to share how much Christ has changed my life.
Over the past two years, I have struggled with taking medication for my mental illnesses (I have diagnosed depression, anxiety, and ADHD). I had initially felt like taking medication for these struggles was somehow saying I didn’t trust God’s plan in my life. That I was somehow saying that I didn’t like how He had made me. It has taken me a long time to realize that taking care of your body and mind is just another way of glorifying God. I also realized that my story of struggling with mental illness is just another testimony of how God is helping me every day. I hope to be a witness for Jesus for other young people struggling with mental illness.
This is my story of discovering the best relationship of my life. One which I cherish and frequently thank God for.
Until next time!