Your Story Could Be the Key to Someone Else’s Prison

Testimonies matter.

“God calls us to places so we can leave a part of ourselves there, and find something new”

More often than not, our choices in life leave us feeling ashamed. We box up our past, put it in the top corner of the closet, and forget its existence. But we are not what happened to us; we’re the people who have learned and grown from obstacles in our path.

Life is all about change. If we lived in a static world, think of how tedious life would be. You can’t be afraid of living, and you can’t worry about messing things up. Your past was the practice run, and now it’s time to let go of what you can’t change and work towards the things you can.

 Being vulnerable is rough, specifically more so if you’ve been hurt. The toughest part of vulnerability living life in the safe zone is not how Our Creator designed us. Taking the easy way out and being stripped of love and compassion is so far beneath who we are.

The last four days of 2016 I attended a conference in Portland, Oregon really diving into who I am through Christ and what that means in my day-to-day. On December 31st, I participated in an outreach called Rockwood Knocks. All the students at the conference went to a low-income community in Portland to knock on doors, get surveys, and share the Good News. At the end of the day, 695 surveys were completed, 64 people said they wanted to be followed up by a local church, 307 spiritual conversations happened, and two people accepted Jesus into their hearts, all in under three hours. We as disciples stepped out in faith and shared the gospel with complete strangers, and welcomed two new believers in to the light.

I didn’t think I could do it. I honestly did not believe I had it in me to go knock on a random door and talk about Jesus with people. I was so full of anxiety and fear, but I surprised myself. God stepped in and became my words and because of this, I got to pray with two different families to bring in the new year. It was incredible.

In the past, I never shared my story. I used think that my feelings were too loud for words but too shy for the world. I have decided that I will no longer omit pieces of my journey to make others comfortable; I am not afraid of my truth. I am who I am because God used all of my mistakes for good in the end.

Our life hurdles can be the word of encouragement that makes a difference between someone we care about finishing the race or collapsing along the way. Intentionally choosing to be transparent has brought so much healing and support for places in my life I didn’t even know I needed the help.

So, leave your comfort zone. Take that leap of faith, and trust that God will build your wings on the way down.

When you realize God’s purpose for your life is not just about you, He will use you in almighty ways.

How Do You Balance College and Faith?

College is hard.

The problem with going to a secular school is that it’s not only easy to walk away from your faith, but the academics and community push you in that direction. For me, this is exactly what happened. I still claimed to be walking with Jesus, but my actions spoke otherwise. I was more focused on all of the things of this world- money, success, popularity, power, a career, and so on.

It’s funny because in manipulative ways, my classes started to make me question my faith. There’s all these facts about how “humans evolved from monkeys” and other such claims. Subconsciously I began to wonder how these human proven “facts” can exist and the bible still be the truth. The enemy has a greater chance of removing all the seeds sewn in you when you’re submerged by people who don’t have the same morals and values as you. Which is the boat I was in.

I decided I wanted this year to be different.

This last quarter I spent every single day intentionally choosing God. Any Christian, boy or girl, knows how difficult that can be. Especially when attending a secular school.

Finding Cru my first week of classes fall quarter was a gift from God. I had prayed to find a Christ-fearing community for a long time, and when it came time to encounter this blessing I was ready to jump in with both feet. I went to football viewing parties, small group Wednesdays, outings on the weekends, and their signature event, Cru Monthly.

However, through these people and the Lord I came to realize a number of things. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t find joy in my day-to-day and I couldn’t connect with God. I started to realize that I had all these unreal expectations I brought to the table when it came to how a relationship with Our Creator should work.

During a retreat, I hiked to the top of a mountain and had a conversation with the Lord, and I started to understand that there is nothing more important than this relationship with Him. Allowing my faith to sink because of this laundry list of expectations and worldly garbage was unacceptable.

So I decided to focus on the quote:

 “Nothing in my hand I bring, to the cross I cling.”

I heard it somewhere in my early walk with Jesus, and it has sat in the back of my mind ever since. I am nothing but a soul created by Him residing in an earth suit. Coming to God with nothing but the desire to spend time with Him is all He wants for our life. Relying on the gospel as the absolute truth is where our hope should reside. He wants a front-seat ride to your life, and as long as you’re letting the troubles of this world interfere you take that from Him.