I was born in sunny San Diego on June 26th, 1998 to two Christian parents. Growing up in a Christian family, I always knew about Jesus. My parents made sure I knew all about HIM. I was an independent, stubborn, strong-willed, and a little on the rebellious side kind of kid… Everything had to be my way. So, of course it didn’t go well when I found out that my mom was having another kid. Like, why’d she need another when she had me??? Anyways…. Hannah was born and everything changed.
A few years later, while reading through the book of Acts, Hannah decided that she wanted to get baptized. I also decided to do it too. I knew about Jesus. I knew what He did for me. And I believe at that point I was already saved. But since Hannah was getting baptized I could not and would not let her do that before/without me. So, I was baptized for the wrong reasons. This was all around when I was 7ish.
My life then changed drastically again- we started doing foster care. Victoria, my sister-to-be, stepped into my life. She challenged me. Lots. We fought and fought. But I got what I always wanted- a sister my age… It was hard for me to let someone step into my life and take up even more of my mom’s time. By the time we were done, I had two more amazing sisters. So, now I had three. Obviously God didn’t want me to be the only child. He had bigger plans. These sisters helped to tear down the bad stuff, build up the good stuff, and remold my character into something so much better. Because of them, I have come so much further than I would have if I had stayed the only child.
At this point in time, my parent’s religion was also mine. I finally came to that point where I had to decide to step away from it or make it my own too. I decided to make it my own. I told God that I would never ever not be a Christian. I didn’t want to die and get sent to hell…. so I decided that was the best thing to do. But it was hard. I went through times in my life where I doubted Him. I doubted my faith and even doubted myself as being a real Christian. But God got me through that.. He remained faithful when I was faithless.
I’ve noticed that I suffer from something like depression… I have huge mood swings. I feel fine for a few months. And then I get super grumpy and just plain miserable half the time for another few months. In late March/early April, I took the next big step in a low time in my life. I took the depression to a different level.... worse than ever before...
Right after coming out of one of these really down times, I went to a leadership conference. The theme had a lot to do with discipleship, but the thing that really stuck with me really good was when we sang I Surrender All on the last day. I noticed that I wasn’t ready to surrender all this to the Lord. I wrote on my blog post about the trip: “While we were singing I Surrender All, I started to open my hands in worship (When I worship I sometimes like to show I surrender or thankfulness to the Lord by raising my hands/arms and opening my hands). But then came the fight inside... I wasn't ready to surrender all. No. I was still holding onto my troubles and my hurts. The pain and hate I had been having inside me. I realized I wasn't ready to give it over to God. I wasn't ready to let Him help me. I had been pushing Him away. I didn't really want His help, and in the process I was making decisions that I never should have. I was hurting Him. I was hurting those around me. I was hurting myself. After all that, I know I need to hand it all over. I need to raise my white flag of surrender. I need to give Him my hurts, my insecurities, and all the other junk I've been holding onto.”
After coming home and still knowing I need to fix it, I went outside in tears and just talked to the Lord. I told Him about my life, how I felt, etc. And told Him I wanted to fully surrender to Him.
Something changed in me after that night. But the struggle to surrender everything continuously is still a huge one for me. It will always be. Because I’m stubborn, independent, and strong-willed. And a rebel. But- With God’s strength, I can surrender again and again.
I’ve been saved by God’s grace. Thank You, Jesus.