Personal Testimony

Personal Testimony

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Praise God; that was the phrase I would here every morning when my dad would drop me off for school. Although my family has gone through many hard times, they have grown to know Christ and wanted to share that with their kids. I grew up in the kind of household that if you said “shut up” then you were going to be spanked several times. I knew one thing on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights; you go to church. Church became a hobby to me, I didn’t hate going there but it was just what you did. I thought that all families were like that also, I didn’t realize till my teenage years that not everyone goes to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. But as I grew older and started really listening to what my friends would talk about at school, I saw that life wasn’t all about going to church and being a Christian for some people.
During my seventh grade year, my church went to a youth rally at a local church on weekend. Because of this rally and the message it sent, I realized and wanted to give my life to Jesus through baptism. It was awesome, I got home as a young teenager and actually talked to my mom about what it really means to be a Christian and to pick up your cross and follow him. So that very next weekend, my dad baptized me in front of the whole church on Sunday morning. It was an awesome feeling knowing that because of Jesus’ grace and mercy, I will be with him one day and spend eternity with him. Although I was on top of the world at this point, I still didn’t know fully what I had gotten into. So the next few years, I live the typical Christian life. I was trying to be the perfect person by doing the right stuff, I would try not to cuss, I would try to wear as many WWJD bracelets as I could so that I wouldn’t have to talk to them about Christ and they could just see it on my wrist, I would not join in on conversations with my friends that I knew were not right, I was just living life on cruise control.

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My freshman summer going into sophomore year was a big summer for me. I remember that my friends from church and in the youth group went to some camp named Kadesh that I had never heard about. That week that they all went to camp was one of the most boring weeks of the summer because I was home bored while all of my friends were having fun at some camp called Kadesh. So when the end of the week came around, I remember seeing my friends and hanging out with them for the first time. I just remember how much I could see how much that week at camp had changed their lives. Because of this, I wanted to start taking my faith more seriously just like all my friends were. So I would listen more in church, ask more questions to my mom and dad, and even read my bible and pray more. Then one day my world was shook up so much that I didn’t know how to handle it. I was playing basketball outside with my neighbor having a fun time when my mom calls me in and tells me that I have a phone call from one of my best friends. Because I was in such a hyper mood, I answered the phone hyper and was not ready for what was about to hit me. He told me to listen and to calm down, once I finally calmed down a bit he told me that our best friend Alex had died in a plane crash. I didn’t know what to say, I just sat there for about a minute speechless. Although I would like to tell you that this was a hardship in my life that made me stronger, I’d be telling a lie. After Alex died, I felt hopeless in life and put it back on cruise control. The thought of me never seeing him again and thinking if he was in heaven or not was killing me. So through time I became to understand a little better of the situation and slowly started to ask more questions and read my bible more. So the next summer was also a life changing summer for me, but this time it was definitely for the better. Ever since I remember seeing my friends come back from that week at kadesh, I was ready to experience what they felt that one week. So that summer I went with my youth group to Kadesh and roomed with one of my best friends. I remember our main goal that weekend; meet as many girls as possible. But throughout the week, I would continually here that I would get more out of it if I stop focusing on stuff like that and focus completely on God. So each and every day, I learned more and more about what hope was. Then that Thursday night, I truly experienced God for the first time. I realized what life was truly about, it didn’t matter if I scored 20 points a game during basketball season, it didn’t matter if I couldn’t get those new Nike’s, and it didn’t matter I could get that girl or not. Then only thing I could put my trust and hope in was God. Everything else in this world would and will fade away, except God. Since then it has been a battle and journey that I never experienced in my junior high years, although it has been hard at points, I just remember Gods grace and mercy, and that my hope is in that. I have built up relationships that I will be able to take with me for a life time. Because of these relationships and because of the way God worked with me that summer, I have been able to overcome situations and struggles that I would have never been able to overcome without him. Throughout the years, I have memorized a verse that really relates to me and reminds us of Gods hope and what we are to do as Christians. 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training; they do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”!
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