4 May 2004
11:16 PM

My Journey

I was lost, scared, alone, confused. I thought that there was none that cared for me and I was still grieving over the loss of my grandmother. My life had no direction, no meaning, and no purpose. Then I got the opportunity to visit a friend in Texas and I attended church with their family. I went to church two or three times a week, because, you see, there was the regular church service on Sundays, and there was the youth service, not to mention band practice that I usually attended with my friend. None of the actual sermons particular stick out to me, but one day does in particular. The pastor of the church had just announced to the congregation that if anyone needed prayer, they should feel free to step forward and one of the church leaders would come to pray with them. At the time, my mother was soon to be having back surgery and I was worried about her.

My friend Michelle encouraged me to go forward, and finally I did. Michelle's dad, Rodney, approached me to pray with me, and I told him what I needed prayer for. Rodney took my hands in his and began to pray for me. As we were praying, several other people came up to us and laid their hands on my back and shoulders. I had only known these people for about three weeks or so, but standing there with their hands on my shoulders, all of them praying for me and my needs, I began to be filled with this overwhelming love. Tears sprang up to my eyes, but there was still more to come. After he had finished praying, Rodney looked into my eyes and began to speak to me. I mentioned before that I was still grieving the loss of my grandmother, who had died almost a year and a half before. I really struggled with my loss, often times crying myself to sleep. When my grandmother passed, I was the only person who was home with her, and I was the person that found her. I had to perform CPR on her to try and save her, but it did not work. Rodney, who was still holding my hands, looked into my eyes and began to speak. "You have grown up very fast. You have been made to feel guilty for things that you should not feel guilty for, things that were beyond your control." And on it went. The tears that had sprang to my eyes fell and I began to cry. Rodney could not have known that, none of them could, and yet here he was telling me my innermost feelings about the loss of my grandmother. I knew it had to have been God.

Later that month, at the church's youth camp, I had another somewhat similar experience. It was the third and final night of camp, and several of us were gathered in the sanctuary. We were mostly praying, and I was kneeling by myself praying. One of the girls, I can't remember her name, came over to me and began to pray with me. She was my friend's friend, and I had never really been too sure about how she felt about me and where I stood with her. When she came over to me, she told me that she knew that I was unsure about our relationship, but that it was okay. She told me that she loved me, and she told me that I would someday touch people through my writings. Some of the others continued to come over, and one of the youth leaders came over to me. They all told me that I was a very special person and I heard a few more times that I would touch people through my writing, and that I would bring people to God. Back then, I know that I didn't know what to make of it all. I began to cry, and hard. People around me were speaking in tongues, and everyone was praying. I will never forget it. I walked amongst them, trying with all my might to understand it, but I could not. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

I saw a bible sitting on one of the pews and I walked over to it and opened it, searching for something that could give me some answers, praying that God would speak to me. One of the youth leaders came over to me and sat next to me. She gestured to the bible in my hands and said to me, "God wanted me to tell you that you will not find what you are looking for there. The answers have to come from within. He knows that you cry yourself to sleep, and He knows how lonely you are, but He wants you to know that you are not alone." The tears began anew because deep down, I knew she was right.

That summer changed my life. I had been saved before that summer, but it never meant anything to me. After that summer, being saved took on a new meaning. My life felt like it had purpose. I truly accepted Jesus into my heart, and I've not looked back. There have been struggles since then, when I've questioned my faith and what I believe, and I've had some rough times. But I always come back to the same conclusion: I am the child of a God who loved me so much that he sacrificed his only son, his only son! so that I could be saved and have eternal life through him. What a love! There can be no greater love than that. The past year, I have found a youth group that helps me to grow in my faith and helps me to be more confident in my faith and myself. God had put people in my life who are of very strong faith and who help me to see him in the littlest of things.

I have realized just how much God does love me, and how much he sacrificed for me. I have learned that in order to gain my life, I must first give it up. I must become a slave to God. That may not sound appealing to some, but let me tell you it has great rewards. I have security and joy in the knowledge that even when I am at my lowest and I feel like there is no one who cares, there is a God who loves me. I have security and joy in the knowledge that even when I have had the worst possible day, week, month, or year, at the end of it all there is a God who loved me enough to allow me to have that extra day, that extra week, extra month, or extra year. I never walk alone now. I am not lost, for even when I stray from what is right, God leads me back to the path that I should follow and he carries me through the hard times that arise. As he gave up his life for me, so I live my life for him. That is my true joy and nothing could be sweeter.