Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Story

Home Group has been pretty amazing lately. We’ve been doing a study called Contagious Christianity that helps you become open about your Faith and teaches you how to easily talk about God. Last week we learned how to tell our personal stories of how we came to Christ, and then we shared them with each other. But I was sick and didn’t get to go, so Ben said that the group was expecting me to share my story this Sunday. I thought I’d do one better and share it with the entire blogosphere:

At age 15, I started my sophomore year of high school fairly confident in my ability to manage my life. I had chosen a good group of friends, family relations were going smoothly, and it was easy for me to get good grades. I had finally even found myself a boyfriend, and with that checked off the list, I didn’t think there was anything else I really needed. I was in control, and things were going exactly according to plan.

However, around Christmas that year, my plan started falling apart. My grandmother got sick, and my mom temporarily moved to Alabama to take care of her. I stepped in to pick up some of the slack at home, especially looking out for my little brother. It was a stressful time for the entire family, and I couldn’t do anything to make it better.

With the added stress at home, my honors classes also became overwhelming. I had been managing to hang on, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get the grades I wanted.

To top it all off, one of my close friends decided I wasn’t a good person anymore. I have no idea what I did, and she wouldn’t tell me. But she started a smear campaign and tried to turn my other friends against me too. Then my boyfriend moved away, and it wasn’t long before he stopped calling. There was nothing I could do to hold on to either of them.

I ended that year feeling completely out of control, wondering how everything had so quickly slipped out of my grasp. I had no idea how to get back on track. Then out of the blue, my best friend Shannon called and asked if I would like to go on a Mission Trip with her church youth group to do Bible camps for kids. It wasn’t something I would typically do, but then again, my typical choices hadn’t been working out so well. So I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and signed on.

At the Bible camp, one of the kids took to me immediately. His parents were going through a nasty divorce, and he was very angry and bitter. He was desperate for comfort, and for some reason, he looked to me to provide it. I was totally overwhelmed - how could I help this kid, when I couldn’t even handle my own life? So I told him that God loved him, and I shared the Gospel with him as I understood it. And suddenly, for the first time, I knew it was all true.

I realized I needed to let God control my life, because He had a good plan for me. I was flooded with an immediate sense of peace like I had never felt before, and the rush of relief was incredible. From that moment, life was never the same again.

Now, even though I still like to be in control, it’s not such a driving need. I don't feel so much pressure about my decisions anymore because I have learned to trust God and allow Him to be my guide. These days, being out of control is a good thing!

So what’s your experience? I would love you to leave a comment and tell your story too. Maybe God has changed your life like He did mine, or maybe you’re one of the many seekers who visit this site and are still trying to figure it all out. Regardless of your situation, we all have something to learn from each other. If you’re not sure how to comment, it’s explained in this post. You can even be anonymous if you want. So take a chance and share!


Anonymous said...

I wish it was so easy for me. I think I'm still in the middle of my story.

Ashley Grizzle said...

Shelley, I love reading your blogs, but I particularly loved reading this one. Your story took me back to that great place that was the youth group at Simpsonville, some of the happiest, life-changing moments of my life. I think you're talking about the Myrtle Beach mission trip - if you are, that was the time I met a special little girl with downs syndrome who didn't want me to leave that week. She made me a cross necklace, that I have to this day. That was a very special trip.