I have grown up going to church but not fully understanding why I needed to be there. It more or less felt like the socially acceptable thing to do. It never was a place for me to go to feel safe or seek comfort. Not until I truly surrendered myself to Jesus in the spring of 2017, when I was a freshman in college. That was where my journey with Jesus began.
Throughout high school I made very poor life choices but still did the right things to set me up to be “successful”. From doing drugs and drinking most weekends to bottling up my emotions from family disarray. I had an unhealthy relationship with my family that I surpassed for years so my stress wouldn’t add to the crazy. Growing up with divorced parents is something no child should ever be exposed to. (That is a whole other rabbit hole that I will talk about in a later post) This background is simply to show how lost I was in this world. Thankfully I had some structure with school and volleyball and my dad’s house. But, I could tell things weren’t how they were supposed to be. Volleyball was something that I committed to pursuing more full time when I was about 16 years old. Ever since then, I have been heavily involved in the sport.
So, when I graduated high school I really had no idea where I wanted to go for college. Seeing that my brother went to an in-state school helped with making my decision rational financially. But knowing how much I loved the sport, volleyball was something I needed with furthering my education. When I was visiting schools I had no idea what I was looking for in team, schooling, campus, culture, etc. the list can go on. But when I came to Truman, It just felt right. I did their camp which was basically my tryout and they liked me enough to offer me a spot on the team. The money wasn’t what I was looking for because my dad had told me not to worry and that anything I was given was helpful. While committing late to the team wasn’t ideal, at least I knew through my senior year of high school where I was headed after I graduated. That known fact in itself was a blessing and a curse.
Fast forward to starting my freshman year of college. I was paired randomly with a teammate of mine who was transferring. Her name is Savvy and is now someone I couldn’t see life without. (Also, another moment where it was truly ALL of the Lord work because she brought me to Christ yet she won’t admit it) Throughout my freshman year, I continued to do the toxic things from high school that I considered “cool”. Now the culture at Truman is to be all about school and your sport until Saturday night rolls around. Saturday night everyone parties and goes to a random house to drink til you’re senseless and do drugs and pursue whatever guy shows the smallest bit of interest in you. Then, waking up Sunday morning hungover to the max and feeling like garbage, Savvy would be leaving for church and ALWAYS ask me if I wanted to go with her. She was consistent and every time I would say, “No. I need sleep.” and roll over to go back to bed. These patterns kept up for months into the spring. In the spring we were in off season. This meant more freedom to make bad decisions. In hind sight, I was struggling with who I was, what my purpose was, and how to deal with family who was constantly piling on emotional turmoil. I want to say it was about February or March that I started to take Savvy up on her offer of going to church more. This vulnerability lead to even more questioning and stumbling over how to do life better.
Until I surrendered myself to Christ. It was a rainy Sunday morning. The sermon that Sunday hit me like a semi truck. Tears were flowing down my face during the service and after. Savvy and I were driving to a friends house when I looked at her and just said I think having Jesus in my life is something I want to know deeper. When I proclaimed my love for the lord to her she gets out of the car and is, literally, dancing in the rain! It was joy! Tears were still pouring down my cheeks because I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief that I didn’t have to carry my mistakes on my own anymore. A weight was lifted. I was freed from what I thought for the longest time was my fault. That spring of 2017 was a turning point for my journey with Jesus in knowing Him fully.