I grew up going to church and reading the Bible and going through the motions of what I thought being a Christian being was like. For the longest time, I was a lukewarm Christian, not in disbelief, but not in full belief either. I went to church every Sunday, but it was more of a social aspect than a religious one. I prayed before every meal and every night, but only because that's what I was taught. I didn't live a life for the Lord because I wanted to, but because I just thought that that was the thing to do. And I didn't see a problem with that, not for the longest time.
It was the transition between middle and high school where my eyes were opened to how wrong I had been living. And I was ashamed. And I ran. I ran from Him when I had the perfect chance to run to Him. I ran from my shame and my sin and my sorrows. I ran and I hid. My dear friends stayed patient and time and time again they led me back. But I was still so ashamed. I hated the fact that I had strayed from my faith. I felt unworthy of His love and grace. I felt like I didn't have a place in His arms. For four years I was on and off the fence, constantly torn between living my life for Him and living my life for me. I lived every day on my own time. I lived every day with no care in the world.
This past year at UGA has helped me grow so firm and so solid in my faith and my walk with Him. I've always heard that college will strip you of your faith, but I'm so happy to say the exact opposite happened to me. The first few weeks of college, I felt so incredibly alone. I had a hard time adjusting and making new friends. So I went to a few campus ministries. I tried out a few, but the one that I felt at home and at peace was Wesley. This year was challenging in every aspect of my life. Mentally. Academically. Emotionally. But especially spiritually. But through all that, I've learned that no matter how far or how long I stray, He is always there to welcome me back with open arms, and that's the most comforting thing that I will ever know. It's because of that that I now feel empowered in the kind of growth that my relationship with God has had, and my relationship with Him is the strongest and most true it's ever been.
I went from living the life of a lukewarm Christian to one of an intentional Christian. God has moved mountains for me. God has loved me unconditionally. God has forgiven me time and time again, and it's time that I forgive myself too. I'm not proud of who or where I was at the beginning of this journey, but I'm not sure most people are.
Today is a different story. Today, I am proud to say that I am a daughter of the One True King. I am proud to see how my wavering belief in faith has turned into one of the best relationships and friendships I have. I'm proud to say that today, April 8, 2019, I publicly declared Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and was baptized through the Wesley Foundation at UGA. Bob and Daniel and the rest of Wesley will forever be some of the best things I've ever encountered. And I am so, so thankful for those who have supported me and constantly shown me His love and grace and forgiveness, and even more thankful for those who experienced this life-changing experience with me.
I have been reborn, and I'm so excited to keep growing and learning.