Having been born into a Christian family and having received the Lord at an early age, I grew up meeting regularly with Christians and had many companions with whom I pursued the Lord, though my experience of Him tended to be somewhat shallow. When I graduated from high school, I immediately left home to go to college where I discovered I had a strong desire to explore the world and to “experience life.” I was convinced that my faith was strong enough to protect me, but while I did not actively seek to reject the Lord, I was easily drawn away from Him in my pursuit of worldly experience. Before I knew it, I was completely alienated from God, cut off from all Christian fellowship, and fully immersed in a lifestyle contrary to my Christian faith. For seven years, I drifted aimlessly, dropping out of college and becoming involved in many damaging things. Finally, I hit rock bottom: I had failed at absolutely everything and was out of options; I felt it would be impossible to ever extricate myself from my situation. At that point, I was offered a way out: my dad proposed that I move back to Houston, return to school, and he would help me out financially. While I still had a taste for the world, I realized this was my opportunity for a fresh beginning. I knew I needed to be physically separated from my circumstances in order to change anything and, as my future looked bleak anyway, I took a chance and moved back. Once I did, I began to see things clearly for the first time. I realized just how far I had strayed and how dark my situation had been. I was restored to Christian fellowship and began to enjoy the Lord again. I realized that He had never left me, but had been waiting all along for me to turn back. I saw that all the events of the past seven years were just to break me down until I was so desperate that I could only turn to the Lord. In deciding to move back, I was cooperating with the Lord and He has been so faithful to bless me for it: I returned to school with surprising ease, found a great job, repaired my relationship with my parents, and found healthy companions in Christians on Campus. All the practical details of life that I could never seem to get in order, suddenly fell into place. I realized that when I trust in the Lord rather than in myself, He takes care of everything. He has also made Himself so real to me, more real than He ever was when I was younger. I just love the Lord and would like to give Him the remainder of my time in college and even my future so that He would gain what He is after. Wherever I go, I want to pursue Him with other believers, seek Him in every situation, and have an ever-increasing experience of Him. Praise the Lord that His mercy reaches us in our darkest situations! All He requires of us is that we just turn to Him!
J.C. – Graduated