I was raised in a Christian family. My dad was a pastor of his own church for quite some years. Which means if I went to church with him early to help set up, I would get a free chocolate donut with sprinkles! When I was around four accepted Jesus into my life but I had little understanding of what I was saying.
My dad had a youth group in our basement for us 3rd-6th graders. That was the age that was supposed to be there, but it was but it was just the crew of the same Nine ish kids. My dad would teach us parts of the Bible through song. I thought it was the best thing ever. It was a memory of singing and dancing
The next part of my story is the moment I wanted to make my next step in my faith and decided I wanted to get baptized. I was in about the fourth grade when I realized I wanted to get baptized. After getting baptized nothing really changed, except in the summer of my 5th grade my dad closed the church. I was so sad, obviously for many reasons.
My family proceeded to search for a new church. We searched forever until we came across one. Took around a year and a half, but my parents found a church and were absolutely in love with this church. However, the church wasn’t for, I was a very weird child. I hated dresses. I hated anything cute and nice. I would wear my soccer uniform and on my feet, I wore my basketball shoes. This church was not a good fit for me. Not dissing the church, I just started church searching at this awkward stage of life. I was awkward and I made everything awkward. Finally, I told my grandmother because she could tell I was always upset after church. I told her everything. My family went back to church searching. I quickly fell in love with this new church. It was so welcoming. The room they had for middle school was incredible, on top of church service we had a youth group later that day. I made some friends through this group.
Summertime was finally here which meant it was time for middle school summer camp. I was so excited I texted one of my friends if they were going to camp too, they told me yes! Time began to pass. It was one day before camp I started, so I texted the boy asking if he was packed yet. He had no idea what I was talking about. So long story short, I went to camp alone and the camp wasn’t the best this year (but I had high expectations I guess because of previous camps I went to.
After camp, I kinda came to notice that everyone had spiritual gifts. But maybe two weeks after camp, I forgot. Some of you might know how it goes the whole Jesus high at church. But my Jesus high was over. My favorite part of the camp was me facing my fear and reading a verse. I’ll talk about why that was a fear in the next paragraph. But that sparked something.
Youth group was starting up again, it was youth group season so of course, I went. However, we did a teaching one day at a group and they talked about spiritual gifts and I didn’t think I had one. At this time I was one of the shyest girls you ever met. You really couldn’t get me to talk unless I knew you well like really well. The whole reason for this is because I have a speech impediment. So at the youth group, I decided to ask the one leader I liked talking to, and I asked them “how are you supposed to have spiritual gifts if you don’t even like talking to people? How in the world would he be able to use me? ” He told me that there has to be something. I‘m going, to be honest, I definitely started to doubt God like 110%. I was of course, in my head thinking, why would God create someone like me who can’t share the gospel is there even a point for me to believe. But my dad taught me as a child to pray in times of doubt. I prayed and decided to play Bible roulette (to those who don’t know what that is, it’s where you close your eyes and open your Bible to a random page and see what it says). I did just that. The first turn I did was in Revelations, I closed my Bible. I feared that book of the Bible. Now I love it, but back then it was definitely a no for me. I tried again, I opened to 2nd Corinthians. One page had chapter eleven and one page had chapter twelve. I skimmed through it, and the thing that caught my attention was verse twelve and it states “that is why, why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG!“ That part actually blew me away. I decided to read the rest of that church of second Corinthians below.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV
That definitely flipped everything around. The next Sunday I went to my youth leader and told him I wanted to teach upstairs in the middle school room during church. He allowed me too, it was one of the most amazing things ever. When I shared everything that happened there were a lot of kids up there also struggling with speech. Tears filled the room, I definitely will never forget that Sunday. Now I volunteer with the middle schoolers twice a week.
In June of 2017, I got in a car accident. This car accident altered my life. I went from running everyday, and playing soccer. To never running again. Never did I expect this to happen, I was so thrown off, but I now can realize why God had this all planned out for me.
In summer of 2018 I went on Operation Barnabas . Operation Barnabas is a three-week long missions trip, and lucky enough we got to go to CALIFORNIA! I was sitting on the magically Disney bus heading to one of the Disney parks and I saw an OB email, and I was so nervous. I opened it and I got accepted, I was so happy. I was actually about to be away from home for three weeks in the summer in a warm place that I have never been! That seemed insane, never did I think I would ever go on a mission trip so far away for so long. I was able to because of my hip. I believe that God took away soccer for that time, in order for me to go on mission trips. I learned so much about the Bible, and myself on this trip. It changed my life!
Summer of 2019 I was able to go on another mission trip, this time out to the Pacific Northwest, on this trip I was able to teach less fortunate children both soccer, and the story of Jonah. Throughout both of these trips, I was given the opportunity to pray with children to say yes to Jesus, and give their lives up. I’m incredibly grateful for everything God has done in my life, and how he has used a lot of different things in my life to make me a stronger, better person.
Thanks for popping in,