Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Personal Narrative

I was born in a big city, I am the oldest of three children, and grew up in a household where a Christian homeschool teacher married a non-Christian firefighter. Being born to unequally yoked parents has been had at times but they have been married for almost twenty-two years. God blessed me with wonderful parents and siblings. I went to church as a child with both of my parents and my siblings for several years or up until I was in the second grade. Within the span of six or seven years of not going to church was when I finally realized that my father was not a believer. In those years though my mother still went to church now and then on Sundays and worked in the church's childcare program throughout the week to bring in extra money. My sisters and I would go with our mother when our father worked late for overtime or got called in on a fire run.  

From what I can remember about going to work with my mom was all the workers gathered outside of the office and shared a prayer request with each other before going into the classrooms to teach Bible lessons I remember hearing some of the same lessons for an entire week to two weeks. When I had gone to church with her on the weekends, she would sign me into a Sunday school classroom where I knew no one only because I was not a frequent church goer. When dad was home, though, I would stay with him sometimes.  

There was one time, when I was about eight, I went with my father to the firehouse with my dad instead of going to work with my mother. My father only taught a class that night, so it was fine with him that I went. All I did was sit in a chair with my Game Boy as I listened to my dad teaches, at least, nine men about new techniques in training. I have to say I enjoyed going to the firehouse instead of the church to hear another bible story.  

When I was about nine, my mother signed me up for church camp. I enjoyed it, but I was not really into the whole “let’s be friends with Jesus” and sing Kumbaya around a campfire. The next year though I was baptized because I wanted to not because of "I believe in Jesus," but I did not realize this until later on down the road in my life. 

 Two years later mom got all of us, even my father, to go back to church on a regular basis. My mom finally got tired of asking my dad to come to church, and now he does not go anymore. When I went to church, I would not go to Sunday school. I felt that because I was baptized I should be allowed to go to the grown-up service instead childish classroom with kids that hadn't "matured" as I had.  

When I was in leaving junior high and entering into high school, I started to rebel against the word of God and my parents. I joined a bible study group, called c-group, which met every Wednesday night. I only went to hang out with “friends”. I picked a poor group of friends to hang out with too. (I am going to use the first letter of my friend’s names.) L was a liar, J was a cutter and weed user, and H was a cheater. I never cut or used weed, but I became a liar and a cheater, but that was until I met C. C helped me out of my “friend” group and introduced me to some Christians. I still know and talk to C now after knowing them for seven years.  

During my high school years when my parents argued they would talk about leaving each other, but I did not know that until my mom would come to me complaining about it. This went on for a while after they argued she would come to me crying and I would hide somewhere and cry after. My sisters did not hear about any of this. I’ve seen what divorce does to a family my cousin’s parents are divorced, and I did not want to end up going to two different homes and having two step-parents. I finally had enough and told her to go to one of her friends because I was her child and no child wants to hear about their parents talk about leaving each other. During that time, I started to cause more trouble for my family. I started fights with my sisters, started to hang around my old “friends”, and once again C was there by my side to help me out.  

My personal relationship with Jesus Christ had been a bumpy road. I had fallen off the path and had not been staying in my Faith for about five years. I struggled like many teens had with addictions and being bullied in high school. I thought I found Jesus Christ when I was on a trip to Florida with my church in April of 2010. I was listening to Mark Moore talking about how we are a generation that can do more than others think we can. That is when I felt the Holy Spirit within me telling me that whatever I set out to do I have the ability to do it as long as I have God on my side and I believed that but only for a little while. I was stupid and naive and thought that God hated me.  

I did a 360 and started back in my walk with Jesus two years ago. I struggle from time to time to keep up with reading my Bible and praying, but I do read it. God opened my eyes two summers ago on the same trip with my church to Florida. The first couple of days were spent praying, reading the Bible, confessing sins to new friends, and worshiping God, but there was something tugging at my heart, and I tried to ignore it, but it kept pulling and tugging. I finally broke down crying one night after listening to my youth pastor Matt Regan preach out how we all dug ourselves into pits that only God can help us out of. That is when I called my parents confessing all of my sins. I thought they would hate me, but the surprised me by saying "We love you and forgive you." and that is when I realized God was saying the same thing to me except I was not listening hard enough.  

When I was crying on the phone with my parents, I felt someone sit down beside me and put their arms around me. I looked over to see someone that shocked me because I thought he was some stuck up young guy, but I was wrong and judged too quickly. I hung up with my parents and turned into this guy’s chest and just cried. He prayed for me after I had calmed down a bit. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders that night as God welcomed me with opened arms. When that guy hugged me, I felt like God was hugging me through him. I am still friends with that guy, who was a friend to me when no one was around. 

On the way home I turned on the radio and Matthew West new song "Hello My Name is" was playing and I was so overjoyed that God played that song to show me that I am His child, and I have been saved, changed and set free. I now work with the children at my church, in the same childcare my mom used to work at, teaching them that no matter what God always love them. I also serve as a leader on the same trips to Florida for a week to share the word of God.   

Someone once asked me if I could change my testimony, taking all the terrible things I did out and replaced them with good things, would I? I looked them in the eye and said no. The things in my past I did out of selfishness and human nature but I would not change it because it is what made me into the person I am today and that it a child of the One True King.