All my life I have lived in a spiritually rich environment, however, over the past several years I have struggled with my faith more than ever, before finally rededicating myself through the support of my loved ones. Growing up in a Christian family I was taught about God from a young age. I went to church each Sunday, went to Christian elementary schools, and at the age of seven I was saved and dedicated my life to Christ. This made me not only to try to be good but also filled me with happiness and purpose. It inspired me to help others in any way that I could no matter their circumstances. Each summer I always went to church camp and always enjoyed listening to others testimonies and how God had changed their life. However, I always felt disappointed that my testimony couldn’t be as exciting and life-changing as theirs.
As I finished my last year in elementary school, I became anxious about entering public school for the first time not knowing what to expect. As I entered my first year in middle school, I realized how much I had been sheltered from and how different the real world was, but I continued my walk with Christ. It wasn’t until high school that I began to feel like I didn’t fit in I felt as if I was different from everyone else; however, this was also the closest I had ever felt to God. Nevertheless, it also marked the beginning of my fall from grace. As the school continued I began going to church less and less. Until I almost stopped altogether, in order to try to fit in I had begun hanging out with different people and began doing things I knew were wrong in order to try and solidify my friendship with them. Despite this, I began to feel more and more self-conscious until I began to shut everyone out for fear of what they would think of me. The once carefree, joyful child was gone and was replaced with a quiet, confused, depressed one who was full of fear.
Eventually, I began not going to school for days at a time until I was finally told I would not be able to graduate if I missed anymore. This is when I began to understand how I had affected other people when I found my mom crying for me. At this point I began to try my best to change my ways, I began working harder than I ever had in order to correct my mistakes. However, despite managing to pull my academic life back together and seemingly going back to my old self the truth was that I had merely learned to cover up how I truly felt with my old persona.
As I began college, I felt farther from God than I ever had, my morals, beliefs, and life had all changed. Soon I felt as if I was unable to even recognize myself, as the man I saw in the mirror was a complete stranger. I began to feel like the black sheep of the family and was ashamed of who I had become. I began to try and reconnect with God, but every time I tried I just seemed to fail. At this point, I decided to wait until I had changed before I would try. It was at that moment when I heard the words
“come just as you are not as you ought to be”
come from my radio. I decided I had had enough and began my rededication to God.
I began by cutting things out of my life and instead began replacing them with ways that I could grow closer to God, such as returning to church and praying for guidance. As I began growing closer once again, I received a new-found desire to learn about my faith and growing closer to God whether it be through a devotion, book, or prayer. Finally, the happiness I sought to find had returned, the desire to help people, and to improve myself in any way I could may it be physically, mentally, or spiritually. After years of sin I have finally not only rededicated myself to Christ in the past months, but I feel closer to him than I ever have before and once again I feel my purpose in life. I couldn’t have managed any of this without the support of my church, family, friends, and Christ himself. No matter how far you feel you can come back changed and stronger than before. Although I went through years of doubt and hardship I wouldn’t have it any differently because it only made me stronger and shaped me into the person I am today. I am now excited to continue my walk with Christ and find out what he has planned for me in the future. I now have a testimony I feel excited and proud to share.