I became a “Christian” at a very young age—8 years old to be exact. My pastor had preached a sermon about Hell. It was very scary. (He didn’t want to scare us. Just to inform us of that awful place) Well, it sure did scare me. I went home that night and cried in my bed because of the fear of going to that place. I asked my mom to come in there and pray with me. I felt relieved. But then I didn’t do anything to show I was changed. I didn’t change. I was still the same me but instead with a thought that I wasn’t going to that awful place.
About a year later, I went to stay with my best friend. There was a car wreck that night. We both got on the topic of where we’d go if we had died. We cried for 2 hours that night, scared half to death. She gave her life to Christ. I wanted a reassurance that I would go to Heaven that night too. So I just prayed the same prayer she did. Still, no change. Just same ole me. I soon started hanging around the wrong crowd. Got drunk once or twice. Soon became addicted to porn. I hit rock bottom. I didn’t know how to change. I thought worldly possessions would bring joy and happiness to my life. No. They didn’t.
Then came June 6, 2018. I had stayed the night with a friend I played softball with. We had gone to a tent revival (which is a big church service outside), and close to 4,000 people were there. It was only supposed to go on for 2 weeks but went on for 4 weeks, with more and more people giving their lives to God daily. I don’t exactly remember what he preached on, I just know feeling my broken heart crumbling. As soon as I stepped out of that aisle all my burdens were lifted. I felt changed. I knew I wanted to live my life for the Lord.
I told everyone. I wanted to share what Jesus did for me that day. I started reading my Bible daily. I began getting much, much closer to God daily. But as soon as I started my sophomore year of high school, the weight of the world hit me. Started hanging around the wrong people again. Cussed every other word. Stopped praying and reading my Bible. I was in the same place I was before.
The only difference was that I felt conviction [of the Holy Spirit] daily. I had a very strong devoted friend who kept me accountable and told me how my wrongdoings were ruining my life. Suddenly, I realized that all the worldly things would not be going to Heaven with me. I remembered how special and loved I felt after I accepted Christ. I wanted that feeling again. Except this time, I wanted to keep it.
Now my faith is super strong. Keeping the faith is such a hard task. That’s why we have to surround ourselves with those who will only further our walk with Christ. Just gotta prepare for when trials come. I am just so thankful that God never gave up on me. <3
—Deanna - age 15, 10th grade