For most of my life, my focus has constantly been on what others think of me, and because of this, I have always had difficulty accepting my true identity. When I came to college, I desperately wanted to find a sense of belonging in such an unfamiliar place like Bowling Green. I got involved in many different organizations in order to please my friends, and family, and ultimately myself. But it seemed like no matter how many activities I joined, how many people I got to know, something was always missing. Even though I was constantly surrounded by people, I did not have any authentic friendships, and ultimately ended up feeling sad and alone the majority of the time. My relationship with God was also close to non-existent, simply because I spent so much of my time running around from meeting to meeting and class to class, instead of resting in his presence. I did not understand why he would make this new season of life, that was supposed to be fun and exciting, so much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.
Growing up, I always felt a separation between God and myself. I went to church with my family, but we never talked about what happened there. Looking back on it now, I think we just went because my parents knew it was the right thing to do. Once again, we wanted to hold the identity that we were a put together, Christian family, that went to church together every Sunday. It wasn’t until this past summer when I went to a 2 ½ week leadership training in Kona, HI, that I began rekindling my relationship with God. It was there on a little island in the middle of the Pacific that I actually began spending time with him in prayer. It was then that I began to understand where my true identity and foundation lies. Not in any particular club or organization, or with a particular group of people; but with Christ alone. Only when I decided to re-commit my life to following him did I actually begin to feel satisfied and secure in who I am because he made me intentionally and specifically with a plan in mind.
Since coming to Christ, I have found so much peace and comfort in his presence. While I still hold many identities: student, sister, daughter; my greatest identity is Christ-follower. After accepting Christ back into my life, I feel more comfortable sharing my faith with others around me. I am confident in what I believe, and I am using my new-found revelations to be a leader in his kingdom and share the good news with others. He is so good, and I am continuing to learn more about his grace and love every day. I am not perfect, but I now know there is grace for all of my mistakes, and his love comes freely without any conditions or reservations.
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.