Suzannah, 19, Georgia, USA
I started getting into relationships with guys really early on, at around 12 years old. My parents didn’t set any sort of rules or boundaries for me, so a lot happened, physically. The church taught me that “sex before marriage” was wrong, but I knew nothing of true purity. So when it came to sex, I pushed it to the limit; if it wasn’t “wrong,” by the Book, then it was fine. I never thought to consider God’s heart.
From 12 to 16, I was in 3 long-term relationships. The last of these was pretty serious. Everyone assumed we’d eventually get married, myself included. But then, he started doing things that made me uncomfortable, like drinking and smoking underage.
When I tried to address this, he accused me of cheating. Soon after, he dumped me. When he left, my plan for my life went with him. Though I knew who Christ was at the time, I was super far from Him. My identity and worth were tied to what I could see, so when all of that failed me, my life appeared meaningless.
When my ex got a new girlfriend, I lost it. I was sitting on my bedroom floor, trembling, when a verse came to me: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). I remember praying, “If You’re close to me, then give me Your peace right now.”
Immediately, my body stopped shaking and I was hit with this overwhelming peace — the divine peace “which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). I then heard the Lord whisper “It is going to be okay.” I was shocked; I’d been a “believer,” but I’d been missing out on a genuine relationship with Him all along!
After this encounter, I resolved to truly get to know the Lord. I didn’t want to rely on what I’d been told about Him — I wanted to know Him for myself. I started going to church, reading the Word, and developing a prayer life. As my love for Him increases, my desire for sin decreases; I am being sanctified. And as I’ve matured in my faith, my peace has only grown. Whereas uncertainty about the future once paralyzed me, it now excites me, because I know God has a plan. And one thing’s for sure: His plan is better than mine!