My Story

My life may not be a best selling novel...or a box office movie. But God has a way of using the least of us, (the shy, blushing girl who hates speaking in public, loves green, and is terrified of worms) and build a beautiful powerful example of his Love, Grace, and Mercy. I hope this speaks to you...and let's you get a glimpse of what made me into who I am.
All my life I had grown up in the church. So becoming a Christian was to me, something that was expected of you. Because of this, I became a Christian when I was very young. I was six years old on October 16th, lying on the kitchen floor. I was crying and very upset about the fact that Christ would die for me. After talking with my parents in our living room, I simply and surely asked Jesus to be the center of my life and to guide my thought and actions in a way that would bring glory to Him. However over the next few years of my life, I became more of a know-it-all church girl than an example to Christ. I knew almost all the Bible stories and historical backgrounds of the Bible. I was like a walking commentary. I went to church three times a week, prayed before I went to bed, memorized scripture verses in Sunday School and was in all the pageants, plays and choirs. I was your perfect little Christian girl. Yet, I was often insecure of myself and now that I look back on it, I was probably like that in order to gain attention. I wanted praise from people so much that I concentrated on “showing people up” than doing all this because I loved Jesus. Even when I sang worship songs, all I could think about was if the people in front of me could hear my voice. I even changed my voice to sing like a certain girl because she was “better”. Because of this, I can’t sing in tune anymore!
So this is how I live my life; going from one source to another, trying to find approval.
Going into sixth grade, I suffered the abandonment of many friends and my fears of rejection resurfaced. Finding myself to not be good enough for my friends, I dropped out altogether from the youth group during the end of seventh grade and the whole of eighth grade. Yet God had his plans for me. In the fall of my eight grade year, with some new friends in tow, I decided I wanted to go on a retreat my church was offering for eighth and seventh graders. However, my mother had different plans and decided to take me and my sister on a mother/daughter retreat. I was really upset. Recently, some of my low self esteem had plagued me and I thought that a good retreat would solve the problems. When this was pulled out from under me, I became angry at God. I wrote Him letters after letters, begging him to bring me someone who loved me. Then, in a final act of desperation, I told him this, from an excerpt in the actual letter: “I know you are always there, Father, but sometimes I wish a boy would just say something to let me know that I am not a wallflower, I want to be the pretty girl that gets to dance.” When the day arrived for us to go, I wasn’t in the greatest mood. As the day went by, the conference was okay, until I was in a class about purity. There was nothing wrong initially with the class, in fact it was wonderful. A young couple was talking about their choice to wait to kiss until after their wedding. Then the guy had a chance to speak to us girls. For a while he talked about his love for his wife and their choice.
Then came the hammer: through some act of God, he turned and looked towards me. I’ll never forget his words: “Today’s culture puts do much pressure on girls; telling them they aren’t pretty enough. Don’t any of you listen to a word they tell you. You are beautiful no matter what people say. Don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t beautiful.” That hit me like a pound of bricks. Tears started welling up in my eyes. Then I knew God had answered my request, “…let a guy tell me I’m pretty…”. I couldn’t believe it! For the first time in my life I felt beautiful. Not because they guy had said it, but because I finally realized what God had been trying to tell me all my life, “I love you the way you are. Don’t go looking to others for approval. You are the most beautiful thing to me, and I will always love you. I will always ask you to dance.”
Going back home, I was secure of myself for the first time ever. I was so full of the love of my Savior that I told the story several times in Sunday School and to my friends. I realized that God had disallowed me to go to the student retreat because he had better things planned. He showed me his love. Over the next year, I truly started seeking after God.
But soon after my Spiritual high, I hit an all time low. In January of 2007, my church hosted another student retreat. This one I was able to go on. I was very excited and couldn’t wait. The day we were to leave, we stopped by the school where my dad teaches. After the initial “Love you”s and kisses, Dad asked mom if any news had come.
Mom’s eyes welled up. Immediately, my sister and I were concerned. Afraid that someone had died, I asked what was wrong. The news was worse than I had feared. Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. They didn’t want to tell us until after the retreat, but we had asked. Since there really wasn’t much we could do, we prayed as a family and then mom drove us to the church. I didn’t bother to tell anyone, but I could tell my friends noticed that something was up. On the bus ride down to Birmingham where the retreat was held, one of the church staff, Jeff, teased me to stop making so much noise. I smiled and my friends laughed, but inside I was longing for someone to ask what was wrong. Finally reaching the conference center, we went to the late night session. Worship had already begun and as I walked into the main hall, I heard a song I hadn’t heard before, but the words immediately resonated to me
            “My Savior, he can move the mountains,
              My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save,
              Forever, Author of Salvation, He rose ands conquered the grave,
              My Jesus conquered the grave..”
Those words were like balm on my heart and I knew that whatever happened to Dad, everything would be alright. God would provide.
Coming back from that trip I was confident.
 I asked for prayer for Dad, but my heart was still, and untroubled. Months went by and by April, Dad was cancer free and is to this day. This experience allowed me to be able to trust in God to provide for me and my family. He always has and always will. If he has done so much for me already, why would I need to go to another source? He truly is my all in all.
I am able to go through struggles and trials and remain strong because I rely on God to take care of things. When I gave him control of my life, I did exactly that. I need not worry about the future if I know he will provide. I serve a loving God who knows everything about me. I’ll never be good enough for him, but he doesn’t require “good enough”. All he requires is faith enough.
That was written two years ago. I can truly say that God has taken me places I'd never expect. The year after, I was called to start and lead a ministry at my church for students called "The Least of These" which allows us as teenagers to impact our community and be missional, without having to go cross the country on trips that are hard to afford. Least of These has been an amazing experience as I see God calling students to do something about the poverty they see in their community and be a light in the darkness. 
I still lead Least of These, but when I graduate, another will come in my place, for this is a student led ministry. Students taking a stand and doing something. 
But this summer, I felt God's call beyond Least of These. When I was very little a missionary came and spoke to my GAs group. He was from Wales. He spoke of the need to Christ in an area that everyone assumes is "Christian". But for most, Christianity is part of their culture, not a relationship with the Almighty God. 
This spring I felt God's call to go as a missionary to the people of Europe. God has shown me what a beautiful relationship with him can look like, and I want them to be able to have that. To make Christ more than a custom. 
This is my calling and where I come from. 
Soli Deo Gloria