My personal testimony isn’t so much about how I came to faith in Jesus Christ. Since as far back as I can remember, I had faith in Jesus Christ. I never had that moment where I “prayed the prayer” or accepted Jesus into my life.
My story is a testimony of making my faith my own, and discovering what my relationship with God really meant for my life beyond introspective faith.
While growing up in South Minneapolis, my parents made sure my younger brother and I knew that God was an important part of our lives. They taught that attending church, praying, and reading the Bible were things we should incorporate into our daily lives.
At a young age, I remember both of my parents being involved in our church, and it seemed only natural that I follow suit. I supported events my mom sponsored with the Sunday School. I joined the kids choir, helped recruit other kids to the events, and I was always excited about Christmas programs and other special events. I watched, and followed along, as my dad took communion and was still and quiet before the Lord. Not only did I begin to see church as something sacred and serious, but my faith as well.
Growing up in this church-centered family allowed me to really explore my faith. I found myself on many missions trips with my youth group and attended a private, Christian middle and high school. It was there I discovered that my faith was something that could be academically learned. There were things to study, memorize, and insightfully discover in the scriptures.
However, it was this discovery that led me to a very dangerous belief that was far from true — that I knew everything there was to know about my faith.
I came to college at UW-Eau Claire believing that I was the master of my own faith. An idea that God was quick to knock out of my head in a humbling way. In my freshman year of college I met Mike; a senior student in his last year of college who led a Bible study. I happened to be best friends with his roommate, and found out about the Bible study totally by accident (or not, from God’s perspective.) Through Mike, I discovered I knew little when it came to the vast and infinite knowledge I considered to be my faith. I re-discovered my faith, and began to uncover what God was calling me to do with my life.
I eventually went on to lead Mike’s Bible study after his departure from UWEC; and during that year, was challenged to go on a missions trip with Campus Crusade for Christ. I was casually a part of the ministry since my freshman year, and had yet to really “get involved.”
On previous missions trips I went on with my church, I re-built homes and worked with a children’s ministry with underprivileged kids. The goal of the missions trip with Campus Crusade for Christ was to share the Gospel with other people. To evangelize. Something I had always thought my entire life was for “those other Christians” that were maybe too into their faith. Certainly not for someone like me.
But God had bigger plans for me than I could have ever imagined.
Spending the summer with 60 other college students, walking around the beaches of South Carolina, and starting spiritual conversations with high school guys who were there to party, completely changed my life. I met young men who were lost, unsure and absolutely hungry for something of substance. Men who, deep down, were afraid of breaking the mold of party-boy and truly wanted to discover that there was more to life.
I saw the Gospel come alive that summer in a way I had never experienced in church or in my own quiet times praying or reading the Bible. I discovered that by actually sharing this love, and this Jesus I’d pray to and read about, was the piece of my faith that was missing.
I didn’t even know it, but half of my faith was being hidden from me by — well — me. I praise the Lord every day for the perspective He gives me. I need Jesus Christ. He is infinite. And there is always more to discover about our Savior and the great love He has for us.