Growing up I didn't believe in God (or at least I said I didn't). Deep down I was always questioning, wondering if there really was a God. God was never talked about in our family, in fact I didn't even know that Christmas and Easter were Jesus' birth and resurrection! When ever I asked questions my parents always told me I could believe whatever I wanted to. I had never been to church until I was 16, except for one time our neighbors invited us to Vacation Bible School where I heard some Bible stories for the first time.
Throughout my school years I was labeled an outcast. I don't know why really, because I was a nice kid. It may have been because I was very shy and I cared too much about what people thought of me. The popular crowd particularly despised me, especially the most popular girl at school, who I remember on one occasion I had to stand next to her in line and she spit on me. I was in the office often because the tough girls had beat me up again or pushed me down a flight of stairs!
When I was in about 7th grade, there was one group of kids who accepted me-that was the druggie crowd. I promised myself I would just hang out with them but never do what they were doing. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character," and that's just what happened!
For a few years I got into a lot of trouble, being suspended from school a number of times. In High School some of my friends, even my boyfriend, were satanists. I thank God that He protected me from really understanding what they were into. By my Sophomore year in High School I was very depressed and at the lowest point in my life.
One day I was walking into a grocery store and there was a man standing outside the store handing out Gospel Tracts. As I was walking up to the man I knew there was something different about him, and I felt like anything he said was going to be good. He told me to put the tract into my pocket and read it later.
After I left the store, I forgot all about the tract. Three days later, I was at work and a woman I worked with was listening to a tape of the band Genesis. The song was about the Bible and out of the blue I said, "maybe there is a God." I asked to borrow the tape and as I was going out to my car I remembered the tract and I read it. It was all about how Jesus is the Light of the World.
When I got to my car, I popped in the tape and the very next song had words like, "all she had to do was step into the light." In that 5 minute car ride to my house, Jesus was in the car with me. I did not see him but I felt his presence and he told me he would forgive me for anything I'd ever done. I was laughing and crying at the same time. I knew I was forgiven and the entire world seemed brighter! I made a decision that day to follow Him all the days of my life.
My whole life changed! I broke away from that bad crowd and I started caring about school- really for the first time. I had new joy and a supernatural high that lasted! I read the entire New Testament of the Bible and much of the Old Testament. Jesus was my best friend and I talked to him in my heart all day long.
Even though I have been through many hardships in my adult life, God is always there for me. He continues to teach me that He is in control and that this life is a journey to be enjoyed till we see Him one day face to face.