Secure in Him

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“One night on a family vacation in Florida, I couldn't sleep as I started thinking about what would happen if I died. Only a pastor’s kid would think about this on vacation! Laying there, I knew the truth my parents had taught me. I knew all the correct answers, but until this moment, my heart hadn’t changed. I realized that if I died right then, without fully trusting in Jesus, I would be separated from God forever. I did not want that.

“So, I got up and ran to my mom and my aunt in the living room. In fear, I told them, ‘I don't want to be away from God forever.'

“They graciously helped me to calm down. They pulled out the Bible and walked through the Romans Road, a way to share what Jesus did through verses in the book of Romans. They explained how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Then they shared that the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But the good news was that God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Then they shared how if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). I wanted that.

“From that point on, I truly believed in Jesus and trusted His death as the payment for my sins. I trusted Him as the Lord and Savior of my life.

“That foundational faith was something I would need to grip tightly as I grew older. In sixth grade, I started experiencing complications with my health in the form of quick seizures. The seizures affected my physical health and caused many insecurities when I couldn’t do the same activities other kids could.

“Because of these health issues, my parents didn't want me out of their sight. So, I went with my dad to two weeks of Christian summer camp the following summer. God clearly spoke to me through His Word being preached. On the last night of camp, the speaker shared how some people feel like God is asking them to work in a ministry setting. Right then, I felt like God was talking to me. I wondered, even at such a young age, ‘Maybe I had these health issues, so I would be at this camp to hear this specific message.’

“As I continued into high school, I found opportunities to lead groups at church. I started being affirmed as a leader. But slowly, insecurities started to creep in. I grew much taller than my peers, which led to deep insecurities about my height and appearance. But the Lord had a purpose, I just didn’t see it yet.

“Fast forward to grad school, I saw God use my insecurities through leading a college organization called FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). There, I had the opportunity to oversee the discipleship and spiritual growth of college athletes. The Lord used my height, something I was very insecure about, as a tool to build connections and relate with athletes. These discipleship opportunities allowed me to help others grow in their relationship with God while also being encouraged in my own.

“God only grew my love for ministry and knowledge of the Bible. I was able to rely on the Lord and fight the insecurities I was facing with Scripture.

“But there is still so much to learn! In the Lord’s sovereignty, I heard about the Watermark Institute and, on a whim, decided to apply. I was later accepted to the program.

“The Institute has been an absolute dream of growing and learning. I have seen John 15:5 ring true as I depend on Him as the Vine and me as the branch, choosing to trust His sovereignty over my life. On the Join The Journey team, I improved my ability to interpret challenging passages from Scripture and have gained a better understanding of the Bible as a whole. Above all, I am grateful for the growth I've experienced in my relationship with the Lord, the reliance I’ve developed on the Lord and His Word, and the opportunity to overcome my insecurities related to my comparison to others.

“I see in the rearview so many paths I could have taken, and the Lord shifted and protected me every step of the way. Even now, I see how God graciously used me despite my inadequacies, insecurities, and failures to grow and sharpen me. The Lord has protected me from dark paths and opened doors I couldn’t have imagined! The best is yet to come!”