Amber - Won
I thought my life was my own. My parents were christian and they were intent on raising my brother and I to be christian too. We attended church every Sunday, but for all of my parent’s efforts to “raise us right”, I thought following Jesus only involved going to church and being a ‘good’ person. I moved to college and I got into competitive bodybuilding. I had three gym memberships and what I wanted was to be admired among other women. I trained hard. I pushed myself to lift heavier and heavier weights and I worked on my body until every part of it satisfied me. I entered into my first bodybuilding contest and I won first place in the competition. It was an accomplishment! I got what I worked so hard for, but strangely I felt worthless. It wasn’t a day later that I was crying thinking, “Is this what I wanted?” All the while, Jesus tried to offer me something more: a personal and intimate relationship with Him.
“I wish I never knew you!” I screamed. It was past midnight and I just got home from the bar. My tears were washing away my makeup which only made me angrier. “How dare You make me feel bad about this.” I thought. “This is my life and I can live it how I want.” Even at a bar, God found me. The nerve of Him. I thought, “If only I never knew Him, then I wouldn’t feel so bad about the way I live my life!” I tried so hard to push Jesus away, but he wouldn’t let me go.
Shortly after these two times in my life a friend of mine named April invited me to a Chi Alpha event called ‘Spring Retreat’. Spring Retreat was where college students came together to fellowship with Jesus and each other. I definitely did not want to go. I didn’t love Jesus, and I knew these people would see right through me. However, I felt something strongly urging me to go so I went. There was a feeling of anticipation on my way there, as if my whole life would be changed. On the second night, during a time of worship, Jesus met with me. He said to me, “Get on your knees.” I freaked out. No way was I going to embarrass myself in front of all the students. Jesus told me, “Get on your knees.” I couldn’t deny him twice, so I got on my knees. Inexplicably, I started to weep. Then Jesus asked me, “Are you going to surrender to me or not?” I felt like I was facing the weightiest decision of my life, whether or not I would know Jesus myself. “Yes, Lord”, I said. He and I spent the rest of the night talking about sins I needed to give up. Leaving those sins behind me, I left that service walking in a fullness of joy I never had before. I had met my true love, the one who had been pursuing my heart. What a joy He is!
Jesus created in me a new clean heart. He took a girl who lived a life of sin and He made her into a beautiful woman of conviction and purity. From that night on I gave up bodybuilding. I also gave up others sin like bitterness towards my ex-boyfriend, my false need for accomplishments, and disrespect towards my parents. Jesus taught me that my identity is in Him. My worth is in who Jesus says I am, and I am a child of the One True King.
Life with Jesus comes with a new purpose in life. The Lord burdens those whom He loves with the same heart He has. He desperately wants to reach the lost, to tell the broken and weary that they can have new life in Himself. He gave me that same desire. To tell young women that their worth is found in Jesus and Him alone. I joined a small group and began studying the Word of God. Over time God trusted me more to where now, I lead a small group of college aged women about the Savior of the world, the one whom they were made for, Jesus Christ.