Since my Mum became a Christian when I was five years old, I have grown up with Jesus in my life. In early high school, however, I started to drift away. I got into a pattern that lasted many years where I would ‘give my life to Jesus’ every few months just to have it ‘not work’, each time getting sooner before I felt like it hadn’t worked. The problem never was that I didn’t believe God existed, I just felt like I couldn’t give my life to him ‘properly’.
By year 10, when I was fifteen, I became convinced he didn’t want me. I had tried all these times but it didn’t work so I must just not be someone God has chosen. Deep down I truly wanted to have a relationship with God, I was blessed with being surrounded by Christian friends that I asked lots of biblical questions of. A very close friend in particular really stuck with me even when I was debating his beliefs pretty aggressively. Over the next two years since God wasn’t in the picture I stopped trying to be nice and I just about lost all my friends. Even then I knew I wasn’t being nice, I decided that was part of me and that was why God didn’t want me. That very close friend stayed with me for the longest, but even he couldn’t stand the way I was acting forever. At the begging of last year, I found myself in a position where I was friendless, hurting from rejection and it was entirely my fault.
It was in this broken place that I realised I needed Jesus, I had tried to do life my way, and it had ended in this. In a desperate search through all the Christian books I owned, I found in the book God Girl that the author had gone on a similar journey to me. She tried to accept God into her heart every week through high school, it just never seemed to stick, she decided that she must not be good enough for God. Then one day someone told her that “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) and this changed her life. I had heard that verse but hearing it in that story that resonated with me sent it straight to my core. I wanted God, and I realised that was all there was to it, it didn’t matter how horrible I had been or inherently was. God didn’t not want me, because he promised that all I had to do was in Romans 10:9 and that he loved me. He had been there knocking all along waiting for me to let him in. I knew about grace but it had never meant anywhere near as much to me as it did in that moment.
Now it’s almost exactly a year since I gave my life to Jesus. Over the past year, God has changed me, and built my life back up, but more beautiful then I had ever imagined. He rebuilt friendships I had lost and gave me even more. Even my friendship with my very close friend was rebuilt, through something I can only believe was a miracle and it was rebuilt so much, that we are now dating. The next chapter for me is leaving Canberra to go to university in Townsville to study Marine Biology, the Sunday of my confirmation is actually my last Sunday before I move. I really wanted to make this public commitment before I move and my life changes forever. I would love if you would pray for me to stay strong in my faith even in the different and potentially difficult new circumstances.