In high school, I never really knew who I was, or my purpose in life. I would just go through the motions of school: wake up, go to class, practice volleyball for hours, stress over homework, and go to bed. The cycle was the same every day. My junior year, I met a boy—yes, a boy. Even though it may sound cliché, boys and relationships often work their way into many of life’s greatest lessons.
We became infatuated with each other from the beginning. We were that annoying couple that did everything together and never wanted to be apart. My relationship was seemingly perfect, but—little did I realize at the time—it was primarily satisfying on a superficial and worldly level.
My father passed away when I was ten years old, and when I miss him or need a reminder of who he is I watch home videos. The summer after my senior year, I sat down to watch a home video of me and my father making Easter eggs. My father was showing me how to make the eggs while also talking to me about Jesus and the reason for Easter. He kept saying “Who do we love??” and my little three-year-old self would shout “JESUS!” at the top of my lungs.
As I watched this at seventeen, I realized my three-year-old self knew more about life than I did after receiving a high school diploma!
I decided from that summer forward I would dedicate my life to Jesus, and I soon began life at Georgia College and State University later that fall. I quickly found a home in Baptist Collegiate Ministries, a college ministry where I met friends that had put Jesus at the forefront of their life.
Surrounding myself with these people, I could feel God working in my life and moving my heart closer and closer to Him. However, something was still wrong. I was still unhappy. Why? I would soon find out that the ultimate joy comes from putting Jesus at the center of EVERY part of your life, not just picking and choosing a few areas.
My boyfriend and I were going on three years of dating, and we were planning on getting married. However, my sophomore year of college, I felt the Lord convincing me to end the relationship. I attempted to ignore that convincing for months, as I desperately tried to get my boyfriend involved in church and to point him to Christ as well. Despite my attempts, nothing seemed to work. The pit in my stomach from the Lord never ceased.
I knew that our relationship was not centered around Jesus, because we had started dating two years before I put Jesus at the center of my own life. The Lord finally gave me enough courage to end the relationship, leaving me an emotional mess. I stumbled through a state of a depression in the weeks following the end of our relationship, but one morning I woke up with a sense of relief and an unexplainable peace.
The Lord had taken my feelings for my ex away, and I immediately felt that a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt free from the bondage of sin, and my faith began to extravagantly grow.
She told me that my grandfather had decided that he was going to follow his faith in the Lord as well. My grandfather had been an alcoholic for a few years since my grandmother had died. Two months after I decided to change my life, my grandfather decided to follow the loving pull he felt from the Lord. He stopped drinking! He has been sober for six months now, thanks be to the Lord!
Jesus is our comforter, our courage, our strength, our King, and our Father. He will always provide if we have faith in Him. He has always provided for me: the comfort I needed to get through the death of my father, my grandmother, and my families’ best friend; the strength I have needed to end relationships (boyfriend and friends) in order to put Him first; and the courage to be able to “appear” different to the world and not give into worldly desires.
Friends, family, and strangers will all be influenced by our life decisions. Who, but God, could have predicted that the end to my relationship would push my grandfather to stop drinking? We will never know the ripple effect that the Lord will cause unless we stand firm in Him ourselves. The Lord may take away pain and struggles, or He may be our comfort and strength in order to make it through the struggles. Just have faith.
I have developed stronger relationships with all my friends. I have been blessed to be able to help so many people through break-ups and many other situations because of my testimony. I have gained unexplainable joy and confidence in who I am. Who am I? I am a daughter of the King of Kings. My purpose? To glorify the Lord.