“Dissatisfaction started to root in my heart when I looked in the mirror as a child. I had a strong desire to be extraordinary and unique, yet I always found myself lacking. In middle school, I began to overcompensate in areas I could control (hair, clothes, etc.). Rebellion and deception provided an escape from the frustration that I couldn't control the way I was created.
“It wasn't until high school that I really understood what Christ's sacrifice on the cross meant for me. I felt the weight of my sin and a deep sense of gratitude that I didn't have to fix it myself, and I accepted Christ as my savior and committed my life to Him.
“That was easier said than done. I had already been introduced to sins like comparison, envy, and, as early as sixth grade, underage drinking. I knew that the best thing for me was to give my life completely to the Lord, but I thought I had pretty good ideas on what would make me happy and was determined to try those first.
“Despite my efforts, my high school and college years were marked by depression and the belief that I wasn’t enough. I had friends and was involved in social activities, but I was deeply dissatisfied with the direction my life was going, and my drinking became destructive.
“A college ministry called Breakaway was one of the only lights in my life that reminded me of God’s truth at the time. I wanted to fully surrender to Christ, but a part of me still believed I hadn't tried everything to make myself happy. I kept seeking my own way. But God was patient.
“With lofty aspirations, I said I'd never work for a corporation, never sit in a sad little cubicle, and never move to Dallas. Two weeks after a meltdown to God because I wasn't finding a job in Austin, I accepted an offer as a customer service representative at an insurance company… in Dallas. God allowed my superficial dreams to die and was kind as He asked me to slowly surrender them to Him. I had no idea how God was going to use what was in Dallas to shape my faith and bring me closer to Him.
“In 2015, I decided to stop striving after the things I thought would make me happy. It was me raising my white flag, admitting to God that I had tried everything and was finally ready to try His way. One of the first steps I took was joining a local church. To my surprise, obedience to God didn't come with chains but freedom from the unseen bindings of what I thought would bring me fulfillment. This freedom brought deep contentment far beyond anything I had tried in the past.
“My drinking issues were still present but faded from destructive to just generally unhelpful. There were years I’d give alcohol up for periods of time, but I could never quite let it go. I loved it and wanted to keep it – fine wine, craft beer, and creative cocktails were all so enjoyable. But I started to notice that, for me, even a couple of drinks a week brought anxiety, depression, and echoes of the old comparison, envy, and desire that I thought I had left behind.
“Again, God was patient. God called me to surrender drinking to Him entirely. I resisted. I thought it was unnecessary and unrealistic. Yet every time I went to pray, worship, or discern God’s instruction, my sin was staring me straight in the face. I finally yielded because it was becoming a barrier in my relationship with God. My community group offered support and accountability for my personal decision.
“Even through a heartbreaking end to a relationship I thought was bound for marriage, God revealed his patience. I was determined to force my plan, but He allowed an anxiety like I’d never experienced before to loosen my grip. The relationship ended for reasons I couldn’t see at the time, and while it felt devastating, I knew He had my best in mind.
“In recent years, the Lord has helped me transition out of a posture of waiting and into one of purpose and pursuit. The Lord has been so kind to give me opportunities to grow closer to Him and His people through Watermark’s single adult ministry, Gather, and through the local church body at Watermark South Dallas, where I am now a member.
“Today, I can honestly say that life has not been what I expected. What I thought would bring fulfillment didn’t, and what I thought would lead to the mundane brought peace, stability, and genuine happiness. I'm learning to move away from coping with uncertainty through unhealthy fixations or habits and move instead to a place of trust with God. I am convinced that if God allowed me to build the roadmap for my own happiness, I would have ended up completely miserable. He has not been wrong yet on what provides true joy, peace, and contentment.”
Gather is a ministry for single adults in their 30s, 40s, and 50s to study God’s Word, be encouraged, and connect with others. Learn about Gather’s upcoming fall events.