Focusing on Jesus
I grew up going to church. My family and I started every Sunday morning off at church and Sunday school... I wasn't really forced to go, but was expected to go. My relationship with the Lord consisted of not much more than misunderstood rituals of the church. Although I felt like I knew Christ, looking back, I now realize that I did not have a full grasp on the things that really mattered in a walk with Christ.
Throughout grade school, things just clicked for me. I never really had to rely on the Lord, or wanted to, for that matter. At that time I thought I had everything that I needed and it was all pretty much in my control or my parents’ control. But soon I would find that things weren't under our control.
“I was completely shocked and didn't know what to do”
My world came "crashing down" one rainy day after eighth-grade basketball practice when my dad picked me up and informed me that my older sister, who was a junior at the time, had just been diagnosed with cancer. I was completely shocked and didn't know what to do. The only thing I could think to do was pray. Realizing things are out of my control, I turned to the Lord to help keep my sister healthy and strong through her fight with cancer.
“I realized things were out of my control”
I can still remember sitting in class in the weeks following and praying for days straight. This is the moment in my life where I realized how much I needed the Lord. I realized things were out of my control, and instead of having the Lord as a PART of my life, He had to be at the CENTER of my life.
The time following my sister’s diagnosis, is the time that I feel like I truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and my life. I realized that I owed Him everything, not just five minutes a night and an hour on Sundays, but my everything.
Since this time it has not been a perfect ride by any means, there have been ups and downs and highs and lows, but I have continually tried to seek the Lord throughout my day-to-day life.
“These steps truly spring-boarded my relationship with Christ to a new level”
Coming out of high school I was kind of stuck in a complacent stage in my relationship with Him. I needed to take that next step, and to try something new. When I came to Madison the summer of my freshman year, the opportunity came about for that to happen. I was blessed to meet some solid believers among my teammates who really helped me and led me to continue to pursue and further my relationship with God through things like AIA Bible studies, BadgerLife, and the Ultimate Training Camp. These steps truly spring-boarded my relationship with Christ to an entirely new level.
I still attend church, but now I see past the mesmerizing “rituals” and perform the acts and prayers out of my love for God and Jesus Christ. This has helped me develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, and continues to help me pursue a more godly life daily. I still fall into sin and doubt, but during those times I strive toward Christ and keep in mind all the things He has blessed me with in this world, including the “spiritual high” times of the Ultimate Training Camp and the time I have had with my sister who has been cancer-free for about seven years now.
This encourages me to strive to give God the praise in everything I do, and to shine His light around the world for others to see the goodness He has brought to this world.
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