I MET JESUS
Following Jesus simply means that you’ve come to a realization that you can’t live life on your own anymore and you need a Savior!
Once you’ve experienced God’s love for the first time it becomes a desire for you to want to know Him and place your trust in Him. This doesn’t mean life is going to suddenly get easier (at times it will feel harder), but He promises to guide & be with us every step of the way!
As we understand more who God is, we become more like Him. Jesus’ character (His love, patience, and kindness) begins to come through as we interact with people. Maybe you are feeling like you want to tell everyone you know about what you just experienced – that’s because our lives are no longer meant to be for us but for God! Now it has become your purpose to lead people to Jesus through reflecting His love to everyone you meet!
I look back and can’t believe how far I have come since meeting Jesus. I am 100% a new person. Before, I was arrested for drunk driving. I was a liar to people I loved and to myself. I was completely chained with insecurity. I was so insecure that I was always trying to be somebody I wasn’t. Everything I did or said I tried to be like someone ‘cool’ I looked up to. Rather than developing into who I was created to be, I was so concerned with what others thought about me that I tried to do whatever I thought would look cool. I was chasing something that I could never achieve. I remember feeling so chained by the thought of hating who I was and not being what I wanted to be.
Since I first raised my hand my life looks super different but the cool thing is Jesus is continually changing me and making me better all the time. It’s not just a one-time change. As I have taken courageous steps that He tells me to take like serving, tithing, not gossiping, and spending time with Him every morning, He has strengthened me in ways and broke chains in my life that I have had no power to do on my own in the past. I’ve also experienced the opposite thought where I didn’t trust that God would take care of me and I didn’t listen to what He asked me to do. The result of that was an increase of depression, selfishness, and timidness. But every single time I take a bold step I am amazed by how much
God stretches me and makes me stronger. I haven’t experienced anything else that fills me up or gives me more Joy than being in a constant relationship with Jesus. I look back and laugh at the things that used to hold me down because I’ve seen God move in me and I have confidence that He’ll continue to move in me. Nothing compares to the power of God’s love.
In the midst of battling depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, and a severe lack of self-worth, I met Jesus through an array of events, as I struggled to make a past relationship work. I had never grown up knowing much about religion and only praying to a God I scarcely believed in once in a blue moon. I was introduced to Journey church by my Ex. It seemed important to him, so I decided to give it a shot but not expecting much.
After several Sunday sermons at Phoenixville campus, I could feel the heated pressure to raise my hand. There was definitely a powerful vibe within the crowd; energy I simply could not fully explain. Still skeptical, I raised my hand. Not long after, I had my first supernatural and unexplainable encounter with Jesus. Crying and completely broken, on the bathroom floor, one Tuesday morning. I felt such a strong and overwhelming stirring within my heart, with a soft voice telling me to “Let go.”
Since August/September of 2017, I have been following Jesus Christ. The growth within my life has been nothing short of amazing, Through God, I have found an inner strength, true friendship, and a sense of security. I am learning how to love myself and unravel where my identity can be found. Jesus has been my rock and my closest companion. I honestly have no idea how I ever survived this long without a relationship with Him.
God is good.
I would have been in foster care without my Christian Grandmother! My mother was mentally ill and my Father was an alcoholic! I asked Jesus into my heart through a Sunday school teacher’s invitation at the age of 5. At the age of 14 I began experimenting with drugs and by the age of 16 was completely addicted to marijuana. After experiencing abuse, neglect, abandonment and running away several times, my life was in a complete downward spiral. At 16 I got out of a moving car and almost succeeded in killing myself (that year I had an abortion). I was a full-blown meth addict by the age of 17, and it was only by God’s grace and a praying Grandmother that I managed to stay out of prison or even alive. I had completely turned my back on Jesus but He never turned His back on me. One day, at the age of 18, the Holy Spirit reminded me once again of His love for me as I heard those Christian songs I learned as a child roll through my mind. I realized that without Jesus in my life I wouldn’t make it. I prayed, asking for forgiveness, and said “Lord, I’ve made a mess of my life, here it is if you can do anything with it” and His love, forgiveness, and peace flooded my heart. My sister came that day to bring me back home and I was immediately delivered from the desire for that lifestyle of drug addiction and self-destruction. Within 3 months I had met my husband Elliott, who had 2 little daughters, ages 2 and 4, in need of a new mommy. We married very shortly afterward. My Mother-in-law mentored me in trusting God and praying the promises found in the Bible. She introduced me to Pentecost and a Spirit-filled life. I had a newfound joy and purpose in serving Jesus and my life was radically changed. There is an old song that describes my life with the lyrics, “If you could see where Jesus brought me from to where I am today, then you would know the reason why I love Him so!” Life hasn’t been an easy road since but it’s been glorious to belong to a good God who never lets go of us! I’ve never been abandoned or rejected by my Savior, He’s been with me all the way! I’ve nursed sick parents years at a time, buried a daughter after years of rebellion and heartache, cared for 2 mentally ill sisters and supported my husband through a 25-year career in a maximum security prison where he was in fear for his life every day. Through it all, we learned to trust in Jesus. He has given us 2 more beautiful children, Elizabeth and Elliott Junior who love and serve Jesus every day! They take after my Grandmother in their ability to lead worship music! Most recently we’ve been battling cancer that was diagnosed in my husband in 2006. In 2013 he was given 90 days to live, yet he baffles the doctor’s diagnosis with uncharted miraculous living! It’s all because of Jesus we’re alive! Jesus’s promises have never failed. He has brought sanity, a life of purpose and reason for living in pursuit of those not yet here! He can take our messes and make miracles of them!
The most important thing we can do when we give our lives to Jesus, is begin reading the Bible. The Bible is a lifeline; the place where you go to understand God’s infinite love for you and the place of encouragement and instruction. As you read, His Words literally will begin to change you. Things you used to do (maybe gossiping, drugs, lying, or cursing), you’ll notice that you won’t want to do anymore or one day you’ll just realize that it’s not part of who you are. That’s how powerful God’s Word is. In fact, it is the only way that you will experience the power of how God changes you in your life!
Although the Bible was written by dozens of authors over thousands of years, one consistent message remains the same – God’s great love for mankind! These words have been passed down to us, protected and preserved by the efforts and even the lives of many before us, so that we might be encouraged, taught, and built up by them! These chapters & pages tell us the whole story of Jesus – who He is, what He did, and who He’s called us to be. As we learn & believe these truths, it becomes easy to trust God and grow into the person He’s called us to be!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Bible: you can use the links below to download the App & get the Bible right on your phone!
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