My name is Kristy Panetta, I am a 24 year old mother from Detroit, MI USA. Most of my time is spent with my 2 year old son and family in our home, learning and spreading the word of God.
I was born into a Lutheran family, and baptized at just a couple months old. For years I had gained most of my spiritual education from a private Lutheran school not far from home. Unfortunately, after the age of 13, I had lost all interest in my faith and the beliefs I had been brought up with. I never realized just how far one could sink when the Lord is pushed to the side, when we are not doing everything HE, wishes to see us accomplish. I had become so lost in a very dark world filled with drugs, the occult, dealing with abuse at home and just terrible things all around. Things that only the Devil himself, would personally influence while I put my God on the back burner. But not all would stay as such for long.
God had saved me from the darkness that had overcome my entire being.
While sitting alone in my room. Lost, so depressed and overcome with pain, I had looked above and just cried out silently in prayer that the Lord would heal me. Take away all of the darkness that which plagued my life. I would give my heart to Him, if He would still have and save me.
Though unworthy I felt, I knew right there I had a purpose. I had started attending a local Non-Denominational church which I might say was a VERY big change for me coming from a Lutheran background. Everyone was so lively! You could feel the praise, the love, and the presence of God pouring through each and every individual in the building. The smiles, the eagerness they had to just help and guide. I was blessed with opportunity to change my life forever, and I knew God led had me to this church.
After a few years of attending this wonderful place of worship, I had experienced one of the hardest years of my life. I had lost my father at just the age of 43 to a stroke. A week after, we found out I was expecting my first baby. In March 2012, I had my beautiful baby boy that I knew was just the most special blessing God has given to me. Unfortunately, we were struck with terror yet again.. our barely 1 week old son, was diagnosed Neuroblastoma cancer. But as hard as this was to take and understand I knew there was a purpose. And I knew God would take care of everything. My faith grew more and more throughout this process, and we could feel God’s presence all around our family while we watched our little baby grow stronger each and every day. Even with 5 rounds of chemotherapy at just weeks old, this baby had so many angels with him. And with God’s graciousness and help, we now stand almost 3 years later with our little boy in remission, expecting our second child. He’s so excited to be a big brother! I just thank God everyday for the blessing of new life He’s given us. No matter how hard, He was always there waiting for the call. Waiting patiently for my heart to cry out to Him yet again. He truly is great, and I have now focused on dedicating my life not only to Jesus Christ and being the best mother I can be, but to helping other youth’s walk with God.
My scholarship with CLI is of so much importance. It allows course study anywhere and any time in a very clear and understandable manner. I have never felt so knowledgeable with the Bible, because yes as we may believe it’s words very much sometimes its just so hard to comprehend completely and these courses have allowed a much clearer- in-depth understanding of His words.
I have been so inspired by this walk with Jesus, that I will be pursuing youth leadership or mentoring. I feel that God has made this my calling. I had struggled so much as a teenage youth, and felt so lost, and I feel that if I could have started attending my youth group a bit sooner things may have went much differently at that time in my life. But I can now use my experiences as a testimony of God’s love and power. His kindness is undeniably the greatest. I was saved in November of 2013, baring witness was the church, friends, and some family on a early Sunday morning. It was a feeling that just could not be described. Even to this day I cannot describe the tremendous impact that day has had on my life.
So I pray that maybe some of you at CLI will keep my journey in your prayers. We know there is nothing greater then prayer! Each day, I devote to God just a bit of time to explain the path I feel He needs me on, and ask that He will continue to push me on this path. CLI is truly a blessing, and I am incredibly grateful for this special gift of education. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide all of our paths, and work love and light through everyone.