I grew up in a church where my family attended weekly, but a relationship with Jesus never really grew in my heart as a child. Although I grew up believing in a God, I never knew him on a personal level, and the true power of His resurrection never changed my life. As I got older, the lack of a strong foundation in Christ was obvious as my life turned to sin and selfish desires. I began filling my time with unhealthy habits that time after time left me longing for something greater. During high school, I began to move away from many of the moral values that had been instilled in me during my upbringing. At this time, I began smoking marijuana regularly, and found myself struggling to know who I was. I also had begun drinking my junior year in high school.
Both my smoking and drinking only grew worse when I left for college in Boulder. All of these things were simply the effects of my identity being lost. As I was trying to figure out who I was I lost sight of the fact that I was a unique special person, and instead decided to go along with what everyone else was doing to gain acceptance. The greatest consequence of this was my loss of a relationship with God. Knowing I needed to change, I began to experiment with spiritual practices, one of which was mediation. At first I was drawn towards a Buddhist approach to self-enlightenment. I had always believed in a powerful spiritual side of life, so the new age spiritualism that is common place in Boulder really appealed to me. As I began to practice introspective meditation I found it brought me deeper into myself where I began to notice that I was falling short in life. I knew that I need someone or something to straighten my path.
The Lord took notice of my desire to grow spiritually, and during the spring semester I ran into a student who had come from New Mexico to share the gospel on the University of Colorado’s campus. He introduced me to a minister with Resurrection Church who asked if I was interested in looking at the Bible with him. That spring I was not quite ready to pursue God and explore the Bible, which I had been turned away from during my childhood. I found every excuse to blow off the minister, but the Lord continue to pull at my heart.
The summer after my sophomore year I began to pray more often, and I really began to notice changes. The first time I prayed to the Lord was after a trip I took to a music festival. I came back from the trip and realized that I had overdrawn my bank account. I remember praying to the Lord and asking for His help. The bank ended up waiving hundreds of dollars of overdraft fees, and I was amazed how my prayer had been answered. Soon after, I began to pray to Him more and more about different things in life. My junior year I came back to school ready to begin to learn from the Bible. Week after week, I continued to pray and read the Bible, and over time my life began to change. I realized I should give my life to Jesus, but this was difficult for me still. I remember having thought after thought that I should just do it, and not be afraid. The biggest fears I faced were about what my friends might think, and giving up the things that I loved, like smoking pot. Over a period of a month though pot began to become unenjoyable, almost as if the Lord was making my decision easier. I also realized that yes it was possible some of my friends might give me a hard time, but the truth was God was good and I could trust Him. Finally after facing my fear and deciding to trust Him, I followed through and gave my whole life to Jesus.
It was finally on October 16th that I gave my life to Jesus. It was soon after that I began attending Resurrection Church on a weekly basis. Immediately, my life was changed for the better as Christ entered my heart and life. My addictive behaviors melted away, something that I was never able to accomplish on my own, and my actions became more purposeful and driven. The first week of following the Lord, I remember as being the greatest of all weeks up until that point. Since then, God’s goodness has continued to make my life better and better.
Since then I have continued to grow substantially with the Lord and have become an active member of Resurrection Church. At Resurrection I met so many people who have gone onto be my greatest friends in life, and it was where I really began to grow and mature in an awesome way. I pray that I may continue to be a positive influence to those around me and can continue help our church here in Boulder to grow and lead people to Jesus!