I’ve always been a church girl. I’ve gone to church since I could remember and could name the 12 disciples off the top of my head, easily. But it wasn’t until last summer that I found and am now living with a purpose. Let’s rewind. I’ve attended a small-town Christian church since birth, my brothers and I usually being the only youth in attendance. Throughout our childhood we made the walk downstairs during the sermon to attend Sunday School, which I always looked forward to because we got snacks.
Fidgeting with items on the plastic, folding table or peeling apart the tablecloth I listened to the lesson, but not intently. I spent my time in the church basement listening for the closing hymn which indicated the church service was coming to an end. As soon as we hopped into the car after church every Sunday my parents would ask us what we learned in Sunday School that day. I caught myself not being able to give an answer, spitting up a brief and bland response. I barely looked forward to Sundays since my mom woke me up early for church and Sunday being the only day I could sleep in. But I never slept in because I had a purpose.
I was embarrassed. I would silently celebrate when we rarely skipped church. The Lord wasn’t a priority. I would catch myself posting a bible verse on social media because it was “cute”, or I just liked the idea of people thinking I was a knowledgeable Christian. In reality, I didn’t even read the verse fully. Fast forward to my preteen/early teen years, I now was able to take communion which felt “cool”. What I didn’t realize was, taking communion is a privilege.
The summer of 2023 changed my life. An invitation changed my life. I never stopped loving the Lord, but I had lost the purpose of Him being a part of my life. I had received an invitation from a close friend to attend Youth Group at her church. Of course, I said Yes. I was skeptical. I’m a quiet and shy girl and find it hard to freely talk and open up to people about Jesus or even friendships.
God knew I needed that Wednesday night. That night changed my life. That invitation changed my life. I had to hit rock bottom to realize I am in need of the fulfillment of the Lord each and every day.
During the summer, I kept making Jesus a priority. Which included attending church even when my family wouldn’t go that week. I now look forward to waking up early on Sunday mornings because I have a purpose. Mid-summer, the church my close friend attends invited me to attend CIY with them. If someone would ask me, “Which week of your life made you the most fulfilled?” I would answer with, “The week of July 1-5, 2023.” I no longer felt embarrassed to worship the Lord because hundreds of teenagers were conquering that same obstacle.
Why did I have to be away from home to become fulfilled?
Fulfillment starts with yourself and comes in many many different forms through the Lord. Go out of your comfort zone and talk to others you usually wouldn’t talk to and make them feel seen as well as heard. I’m now so fulfilled because someone encouraged me to be The Change. So, I invite you. Be someone’s invitation.