Since I was an infant my family attended church every Sunday and I was no stranger to the Savior, Jesus. Around my second birthday my parents divorced (both later remarried) and during my seventh grade year my mother and two younger brothers moved 2,700 miles to the other side of the country in Pennsylvania. Unwilling to uproot from my current life I remained in Oregon and moved in with my dad.
Growing up in Oregon, adventure was almost infused in my DNA. Passionate, energetic and outgoing were common words used to describe me. However they were tainted with stains of rejection, a craving for acceptance and a demand that I do anything and everything possible to attain such things. Not knowing where to search I began grabbing at anything that seemed even slightly promising. Weed. Relationships. Sports. Partying. Friends. All of which soothed the raging itch for a while but all of which left me helplessly empty in the end. My attempts only magnified the craving.
On the outside I was strong, bold and fun loving but that facade was only skin deep.
Towards the end of my sophomore year the weight of my brokenness had finally collapsed my quivering knees and I was forced to face the reality of myself. Kneeling in Worship one Sunday with hot tears pouring down my face I pleaded to God to save me from myself somehow. Immediately His voice pierced through my brokenness and called to me: “Move to Pennsylvania with your mom.”
The months to follow were difficult and telling my dad I was leaving was heart breaking, but the call of Christ was undeniable. My junior year kicked off in the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania. It was in that bubble of isolation – not knowing anyone and having no “reputation” to uphold – that God began convicting me of my filth. He would show me the mess and ask “it’s up to you. Do something to change, or don’t.” It was through His gentle nudges and the revealing of who He is and the goodness that is Him that He swept me off my feet and romanced my heart.
His love consumed me.
After graduation I attended a one year internship with the Honor Academy. The year spent on the East Texas campus was devoted to pursuing the heart of God and discipleship. It was the toughest and most beautiful year of my life to that point. My heart found healing, purpose and identity in Christ.
Now my heart burns for Jesus to be praised endlessly across the earth. I am now living in Pennsylvania and soon will be moving to the Philippines in surrender to God plans so that His name might be echoed in the hearts of Man. The traditional term is “missionary” but I prefer disciple. That is the heart of Christ, to make disciples for His glory. And that is the grace of Chris that He would transform Man (even me) from the sinful man into His disciples. I am not sure how to “conclude” all of this but I think Galatians 2:20 is fitting, “ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (NKJV).