I grew up going to church, youth group, bible summer camp — all the fun church kids things. After my parents got divorced, I was the only one of my siblings who kept going. I didn’t have a strong relationship with God, or really know what that would look like. But, I knew He existed and that I need Him in my life.
Things took a turn my freshman year of high school. I got in with the wrong crowd and started drinking, smoking weed, and lying to my parents about it all. When I started dating a drug dealer, I was pulled in even more. It was a very unstable relationship.
On top of that, I wasn’t happy at home. My parents were “strict,” i.e. they cared what I did. I felt suffocated. I “just wanted to have fun.” I was always worried about getting caught or trying to come up with the next lie. I became very anxious.
After 6 months of dating, my boyfriend and I broke up and I started dating a new guy. He and I went to church together, but we were both still caught up in the world. We did things we shouldn’t have and little changed.
Thankfully, the Lord knew every piece of my heart. He knew that I needed him and he saw my behavior for what it was: an attempt to fill the void where He belonged. He came after me. He revealed the darkness and emptiness of my life. For instance, He showed me that many of my friendships weren’t really friendships at all; they were empty.
I decided I wanted and needed something better. I tried to remember the last time I’d felt genuinely whole and happy and realized that it was years back, when I was closer to God. So, I decided to seek Him. My boyfriend still wanted to party and I wasn’t willing to be pulled back into that hole. When we broke up, my life exploded in the best way possible!
I returned to church. I began doing devotions, spending time in my Bible, and listening to Christian music. I got involved with Young Life — a high school outreach program — and met some of my very best friends! I also reconnected with an old friend from high school. That man is now my husband. We love each other so much, but we love the Lord more. We seek Him together every day.
It’s scary to imagine what life I’d be leading if I hadn’t decided to follow Jesus. God truly pulled me out of a dark place. He saved me!
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
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