I'm so excited to start our new series today - Share Your Story!!! If you missed it, check out my first post on what Share Your Story is all about as well as our page - here - I will be updating the page each week with each new story!
Hey, I'm Caroline! I was born in North Carolina 17 years ago into a loving Christian family with both parents and my older brother, who is 3 years older than me. When I was 4 years old, my dad got a job promotion that required moving, so our family followed. We found a new church home within a year or so of moving.
When did you first experience God and become a Christian? - In this church, I grew up and began to learn about God, but didn't really know Him personally until G.A. camp at Camp Mundo Vista the summer before 6th grade. I can't tell you details of the very instant He became real to me, but I do know for certain that God showed up through His people. That week was the first time I'd ever experienced God as more than a distant deity who created the world so long ago. Instead, through witnessing girls whose lives had been greatly affected by the power of God, I was sure there was something more to the whole 'Christian' thing - and I wanted what they had. My brother, who had accepted Christ not long before, furthermore encouraged me when I returned home from that week, and I was baptized soon thereafter. I fully believe that I knew what I was doing when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but the church environment around me did little to support me in my walk, so as far as 'living out my faith' - that really didn't occur until later in my Christian walk.
Have you ever walked through a season of drought or doubt in regards to your faith? - Almost two years ago now, our church started having major leadership issues, which turned into a huge mess and break in the church. Once my brother graduated from high school, my family found it best to leave our church home in search of a new one. Honestly, at this point in time, the Enemy really led me to believe that I could be a Christian just as well without having a body of Believers to back me up. I don't think I can accurately explain just how messed up this idea is. I remember using quotes like "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car" to back-up my bitter feelings toward church-searching. I was perfectly content and comfortable with where I was at our old church: wasn't that enough? Wasn't God supposed to want my happiness? Couldn't I count on Him to keep me from hard times? After all, I'd already accepted Him - I was on His side - so why in the world would He take me out of the one place where I'd found a safe niche for myself? These are the questions that pushed me farther and farther away from God - the one and only Help in times of trouble.
Do you have any advice for other teenagers? Be involved with a youth group that loves the Lord. When you're surrounded by Believers who want to grow in their relationship with God, it only encourages you to do the same. Don't waste your years in middle school and high school - during these years you'll have the chance to make a difference in the lives of so many different people, and one thing is for certain: God doesn't make mistakes, nor does He do things by random. Because of this, I have confidence in saying that God puts certain people in your life with a specific purpose. Take advantage of that. Also, remember that your body is the Temple of God. Keep your thoughts and actions pure, and take care of yourself. No matter how short or tall, thick or thin, dark or light you are, you were made in the image of the one true God, and you are BEAUTIFUL!
What is your favorite bible verse? - Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. That's probably my favorite verse. It's something very applicable to my life in just about every season, because it's an incredible reminder that Jesus is the only constant in a world of change. It's so comforting to know that He will forever be good, fair, and altogether perfect.
Thanks so much Caroline for Sharing Your Story today and being our first!!!! I am so thankful for your willingness to open up about your faith.
Check back next Wednesday for a new story!
If you would like to be a part of this series we would love to here from you! Email us!
Spread the word!!!