It was the summer before high school, and I was standing in the worship center at camp, brushing shoulders with the church kids I barely knew. My heart was hard. I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be at the pool flirting with boys like my public school friends. But little did I know, that night would change my life forever...
Leading up to that night, I was a regular girl fighting to fit in. My biggest concerns were my grades, my social image, and boys. “Christianity” just meant not having sex or gossiping. But I was also struggling with anorexia and depression and was fighting with my mom a lot. So when she forced me to go to a Christian camp, I was angry.
I went with my arms crossed and a scowl across my face. Then, my youth pastor started preaching about Jesus the very first night, and something moved in my heart. Mine was among a sea of hands raised to accept or rededicate their lives to Christ. Thank God His plan was better than mine!
A sense of family settled on the youth as we cried and worshiped together. It was an amazing week, and I met some of my best friends there.
When I got home, I told my family about my experience and even told my public school friends about Jesus. I was on fire all summer.
But then school started again, and I felt my faith being tested. Would I go back to trying to fit in? Or could I stay strong in my faith, knowing it was social suicide?
High school was a real struggle and made me question God’s hand on my life, and college broke my faith completely. I walked down paths I never thought I would. I broke promises that I couldn’t unbreak.
Through it all, I felt God nudging me back. He sent me dreams and supported me with new Christian friends. I came back to Christ and decided to follow him no matter the cost.
Now, I know the importance of a daily quiet time and am active in my church. I also know the grace of God and His heart for humanity.
Each book I write is for His glory. And it’s for the girl struggling to believe she’s chosen. It’s for the girl struggling to understand God’s heart. It’s for the girl struggling to let go of shame.
Thank God we have a good God.
For thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his scattered flock... so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered.
-Ezekiel 34:11-12 (ESV)