I was born and raised with four siblings in Edmond, Oklahoma by parents who knew the Lord Jesus as their Savior. From the earliest time I can remember, I knew God was very important and that He had created me for some reason, though it wouldn’t be until my teenage years that I would begin to discover what that was. My siblings each put their trust in Jesus at an early age, and while I was the goody-goody of the family, I knew deep down that I didn’t know Him.
Being loved and recognized was something I deeply craved, so I told my parents that I had been saved after reading some Bible verses with them one night. The lies to make myself look good were mounting up in my life and I began to drown in my own deception. In middle school, I only slept a couple of hours each night, because I dreaded thinking of eternity. This made a lot more time for schoolwork, so I graduated high school at sixteen and begin college at fifteen. My need for recognition was fulfilled in schoolwork, but I was still battling never “feeling” fully loved, though I came from a loving family. So, I began dabbling in self-mutilation and hanging with a “goth” crowd for a couple years, adding another layer to my deceptions.
After years of struggling and not wanting to tell everyone that I was a fraud for saying I was a Christian, I finally surrendered to God at the age of fifteen and a half. I knew my eternal soul was more precious to Him than me holding onto my past life. For the first time, I really knew I was completely loved by God and was recognized by Him as His daughter because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Since then, God has given me a heart for young women, especially those with hard pasts or difficult homes, as He has shown me His grace and help in those types of situations. Being loved and being recognized are still some weak points I tend to crave, but God shows me time and time again that He will never fail me in these things.
I still worked hard at school after becoming a Christian and received my Bachelor of Science at nineteen. Working hard, though, didn’t always make for my ideal ending. The Lord used a couple of serious romantic relationships that failed to show me in new ways that above working hard at something, I needed Him. Though I’ve been given opportunities to make more money, to achieve a higher status in the academic realm, to be “more, more, more,” God has made it clearer and clearer that He has asked me to serve Him in different ways. He continues to teach me day-by-day that He is enough, and He is better.