Before I really knew anything about Jesus or read anything in the Bible, I probably would have said that this goal wasn’t worth it too. Take it or leave it.
I grew up in a family that didn’t go to church. My parents always fought about everything under the sun. I was the middle child, the only girl, and my brothers and I are each about 10 years apart in age. Life felt pretty lonely most of the time.
I knew it was wrong, but when I was growing up I didn’t think twice about stealing things that didn’t belong to me, or lying to get my own way. I saw movies and things that no 8 year old should be seeing, but sex and violence were tolerated in our house. I was a shy kid, and felt like my shyness made people dislike me even more. I was angry at the world because I didn’t think anyone cared. There were lots of times when I wished bad things on my family, and even more when I wished I would just die.
When I was 12 years old, I was staying at a cousin’s house. We were bored, so my aunt gave us each a book to read. It was a book about what the Bible says on issues important in teenagers lives, sex, dating, drugs, etc. Something to pass the time. Not too long after that, she gave me a book about the life of Jesus.
I read that book, and something changed inside of me. It was the first time I learned about the whole life of Jesus. Everything, from before he was born to after his death on the cross. I saw his compassion and love for people. I saw him go the extra mile to heal people, both those with physical problems, and those who have broken hearts. I saw how he related to others, always sharing wise words that are meant to help us relate to one another and have a better life. Everything he said was meant to help us have a better life. And I saw how he reacted to those things that are meant to hurt us. He hated those things and warned us to not fall into those destructive patterns. He didn’t want to see me hurting.
When I finally realized this, I decided to become a Christian. It was hard being the only Christian in my family. I still couldn’t go to church, but that didn’t keep me from learning more about my new faith. I devoured my Bible, wanting to know more about Jesus, and about the God who sent his only Son to die in my place and pay for the sins that I* had committed.
Little by little, God changed me, and my life. I no longer have the desire to steal things that don’t belong to me. I strive to tell the truth in all things. Addictions that I was once a slave to no longer have control over me. I’m a new person in Christ!
And there is a love, and an overflowing feeling of joy and happiness that I wish everyone else out there would embrace in their own lives. I know it’s hard, because I’ve been there. I know it’s hard, because some of those things that we know we shouldn’t be doing really seem like they’re fun. But I also know what’s on the other side; the side that people mock and make fun of because they simply don’t understand it…yet. *But you can...and if you only would, I know that you’d feel the same way I do.
What do you have to lose? Nothing but bad habits and sadness, shame, and things that will drag you down. What do you have to gain? An unexplainable happiness, calmness, and joy in your life that no one can take away. It’s yours for the asking.
And by the way, now I’m grown up…I’m married to a wonderful husband who loves Jesus:), we go to church every Sunday (he is the Sunday school superintendent), and my parents go every Sunday too:) God is so good! And yes, we still have our days…we’re not perfect people, and sometimes we have sadness in our lives. But now I can go through those things and know with confidence that God is with me. If I need to cry, he’s there to comfort me. If I need advice, he always shows me what I should do. He’s blessed my life in so many ways that I haven’t even talked about here…! I just wish that more people would give him a chance to do the same thing in their lives.