I grew up in a home that practiced religion, but it was just that, religion. It was not much deeper
than going to church on Sundays and going to classes at my church on Wednesday nights. Through
elementary, I had a pretty easy life. I had two parents who loved me, I was a good student, and I started
being apart of some sports teams that I was really enjoying. I was really loving life, I mean that was until
junior high started. Junior high started well for me but after my 6 th grade year, this all went downhill fast.
In the 7 th grade, I didn’t really have very many friends and I thought that no one wanted to be around
me, I even thought that my family was only around me because they were forced to be around me.
Heck, I didn’t even like myself most of the time so why would anyone else like me? That’s what I thought
anyway. Something that I think stemmed from this was I always thought negatively about everything
(which may be hard for some of you to believe if you know me) and I thought that the good things in life
were only time fillers until the bad rolled around again. I was always waiting for the next bad thing to
happen rather than rejoicing in the good. So basically, my mentality about life was not good and I was
basically in a black hole of despair and sadness. I never really let anyone know this though. I always
smiled and acted like it was fine, hoping that someday they might be.
Moving on from junior high into my first two years of high school, I was still not the happiest
person, but I was way better than I was in junior high. I was finding happiness in more things and
activities but I still was not fulfilled. It wasn’t until I started my junior year of high school that I really
started to see Jesus and faith in a new and different way than I had through my whole life prior. I was
invited by my powerlifting coach, Kelly, to attend my school’s new FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)
program because she wanted to see some of her lifters attend. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was
the start of the biggest and best adventure of my life. Through FCA my junior year, I learned things
about Jesus and the Bible that I had never known, even after all the years I spent growing up in the
church. This is when I started to form a relationship with Jesus rather than just practicing religion. I
made new friends, I was growing in Jesus, and I was really loving becoming a part of a Christian
community. As the school year went on, I had come to the realization that I was not content at my old
church and youth group. After my new friends from this community invited me like 1000 times to their
church and youth group, I decided that I would finally give it a try. The new church I was going to
provided me with an even bigger community of people who showed me the love of Christ and they all
came along side of me and helped me grow in my walk with Jesus. This transition was a rather hard
thing to do for me. I lost friends and my parents weren’t huge fans of the idea that I wanted to attend a
different church than the one they raised me in.
As a result of knowing Jesus, I started to notice a change in my attitude. I had this new joy and
happiness about life, one that I still have to this day. I was enjoying school, I loved the new groups I was
apart of, and I finally started to actually like myself for the first time ever. However, junior year was also
hard because my grandpa passed away unexpectedly which brought a lot of prolonged sadness and
hurt. Looking back at it now I would say that this was probably something close to depression. After my
grandpa’s passing, the rest of that year was quite difficult for me, but senior year was wonderful, and I
was so excited to see what God had in store for college. After coming to college, I got plugged into Cru
quickly and I was gaining friends like crazy. I was (and am still) growing in my faith and making awesome
new friends at the same time. With all the good that was happening around me, I started experiencing
anxiety and anxious thoughts more than I ever had. The Lord is really teaching me a lot through this
weird battle called anxiety and it’s something that I hate but I’m also grateful for because I’m learning so
much about Him and myself. My name is Emily Metzger and this is my changed life story.
Just like you heard a story of a life changed by Jesus, This could be your story too and it begins by inviting Jesus Christ into your life by faith. The greatest story happened two thousand years ago when God sent his son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life, and to die as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This righteousness of God is given “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:22) so that we can have a personal relationship with God both now and after we die in heaven.
Your story could change in a moment. The Bible says “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This could be your story. You can receive Jesus Christ right now by faith. Romans 10:9 says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” You can invite Jesus into your life right now by praying this prayer.