I grew up in a Christian home but never fully grasped the Gospel. During my elementary years I went to church, enjoying it. The virtues taught each month were always reasonable but in the back of my head, it all felt a bit ridiculous. I remember often hearing that everything in the Bible is true and doubting it every time.
Years passed and half-hearted commitments faded in time. In Junior High I basically rejected the little faith I had and put myself above all else. When I asked what my religion was I would say laughing, "Christian…but not really."
During freshman year, I somewhat returned to my faith but pursued a relationship that hurt me spiritually. When we broke up the summer before sophomore year, I was left with little friends. Depression that I had suppressed for many years began to consume my life. I became apathetic and even nihilistic at some points. However, I continued to attend HDC's high school ministry and slowly began to associate as a Christian again.
Each week I sat alone until my mom invited a friend of mine to church. Because he came, I worked up the nerve to approach a cute girl. (I'm naturally quite introverted and would have never approached her if I were alone.) I began to sit with her each week. In three months or so, she became my girlfriend- Emily. Seeing how loving and genuine she was gave me a new perspective on what it means to be a Christian. My heart was still hard, I was still cynical, but I became curious and frequently asked her questions about God. I eventually realized my brokenness could not be healed by myself; I needed salvation from Jesus Christ.
In the winter of Junior year, Emily invited me to a Calvary Chapel weekend camp. It was truly a changing experience and my most clear recollection of admitting I am a sinner, believing Jesus died for those sins, and choosing to follow Him. From then on, Christ has been the center of my life and the focus of Emily and I's relationship.
My heart has become softened, I seek Jesus Christ, I want to show people God's love. I know now my value comes not from the world but from Jesus Christ.