My story starts back in Rolla, Missouri. I’m sort of the middle child in a family with six kids: four sisters and one brother. I grew up going to church and spent many summers at Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp. It was at this camp that I finally realized that if Christ were to come back that very night, my family would go to heaven to be with Him, and I would be left behind. I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer and I trusted Christ as my Savior, knowing what He had done on the cross was the only thing that could take care of my sins.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m back at Turkey Hill. This time, though, I’m on staff and not a camper. My Christian life up to this point had seen very little growth, to be honest. I had just kind of been going along with reading my Bible, going to church, and trying to do the right thing. But that summer at camp, I saw other Christians who were excited and passionate about their faith, and I thought “why don’t I have that?” The other kids on staff challenged me to be in the Word, to have discussions about what we’d been learning, and to be involved. That summer, I realized being a Christian was about so much more than just being saved. So often we view that as the endpoint, when really, it’s just the beginning. I began to see that Christ wanted a real relationship with ME. That summer at Turkey Hill was so encouraging and it was a huge step in my growth as a believer. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I learned there was going to be so vital later down the road.
Cue college. I was stressed and anxious. Working to pay for school and trying my hardest to juggle both schedules. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and so during this time, I felt like I needed to be a straight A student, to succeed at work, and to meet these goals in an effort to grasp some sort of self-worth. It wasn’t long before that destructive cycle caught up with me and I found myself in the middle of depression. It was dark and it was ugly, but God was so, so good. I realized I couldn’t carry on in my own strength. I needed Him and His strength. When I was at the end of my rope, Jesus was right there. How sweet it was to know and to experience His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us!
Someone once pointed out to me that when Jesus died on the cross, He too cried out in the dark, alone and with no one to answer Him. It was such a weight off my shoulders knowing that He UNDERSTOOD. He endured the cross so that when I cried out in the dark, He would be there to answer. Guys, I’m so excited about this Savior I serve! I’m thankful for all that He’s taught me so far, and I’m looking forward to what else He’ll teach me along life’s way. I pray that our work here at Come Awake is an encouragement and a blessing to you all. You’re not alone in this!