A Changed Heart- Watermark News
Posted on: 06/03/2012
“If what I’m doing isn’t making much of God, then it’s not worth doing.” – Ryann Ketzle
“I always felt like God was seeking me, even at an early age although I didn’t really grow up going to church,” said Ryann Ketzle. “My parents divorced when I was young, and as an only child, it was just my mom and me a lot of the time. In middle school, I went to a ministry event and heard the gospel message. When I trusted Christ, I meant it with every ounce of my body, but I didn’t have any other believers walking with me. I tried to read the Bible, but without any Christian friends I eventually fell away.
“In high school, I started seeking my identity in guys’ attention toward me, and trying to be someone’s number one. I always felt uncomfortable at parties, so I drank to get comfortable. With alcohol came inappropriate relationships, and I went from being ‘the good child’ to being very lost.
“In college, I got wrapped up in sorority life, and in a relationship with a guy who was physically abusive. I wanted to be his number one, but that relationship gave me a hardened heart. I thought nobody else cared, and that I had to just look out for myself. Eventually I began praying that I could just get out, and that God would rescue me.
“When I graduated and moved to Dallas, I met a lot of people who threw around the name of Jesus. Sometimes, I’d hear Christ’s name and be angry, because I didn’t understand Him. Later, I began to want the Lord again really badly. A coworker invited me to Watermark. I knew I needed the Lord, so I went.
“One night at The Porch, the speaker asked how confident we were that we’d spend eternity in Heaven and why. I’d always figured I wasn’t as bad as everyone else, and thought that because I believed God was good, He would let me in. When I found out that trusting Christ was the only reason I’d have a relationship with God forever, I finally understood.
“From that point on, God completely revolutionized my heart and life. I felt really convicted about how I prioritized my time, energy and resources. I read God’s Word. I started going to Equipped Disciple at Watermark. And I signed up to go to the 2010 Launch Retreat that the Young Adults team hosts every Labor Day weekend, and even volunteered to be part of the events team.
“I also really wanted an outward testimony of what Christ had done in my heart. I knew about the importance of baptism, so I was actually baptized at the retreat. I thought that it would be a more symbolic thing. But it was an important moment in my walk with Christ, and I later fell to my knees in gratitude for the Lord.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NASB)
God gave me Christian friends, and I felt free to be broken and authentic in front of them. They pushed me toward Christ and encouraged me in what the Lord would have for me. They were particularly important during my engagement to Keith, who I actually met at the 2010 Launch retreat. Their accountability helped us emphasize purity and make sure we were honoring the Lord in our decisions.
“Today I’ve been married to Keith for just under a year, and I’m learning how God can change my own tendency toward selfishness through marriage. It’s been a real eye opener, and I’ve prayed a lot that God will help change my heart so that I can serve my husband as Christ did.
“I also serve as an advocate at the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center. I am able to share the gospel with girls in unplanned pregnancies, and encourage them to see the Lord at work in their lives. I’m also able to relate to them about my own decisions apart from Christ that have brought pain into my life. I once thought I could put God off and serve Him later. The world used to seem so alluring, and temptation once seemed worth it. But sin always resulted in pain, and I lost so many years thinking that I knew what I was doing. Those years seem like such a waste now, although I know that God can always use them. Now that I know the Lord, I discovered there’s no joy like joy in Christ.
“Christ has changed my life in so many ways. I used to seek approval for my physical appearance or in giving others advice based on my own opinion. Today I do my best to pull both my identity and the words I want to share directly from Scripture. My real desire is to give God glory. If what I’m doing isn’t making much of God, then it’s not worth doing.”
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