God has surrounded me since birth; however, I did not meet Him until I was fifteen. My parents made sure I grew up in a Christian environment by attending church, AWANA, and a Christian school. I asked Christ into my heart and was baptized in Sunday school. I believed that I had a relationship with God—except I was wrong. My family situation continued to worsen, and I began viewing myself and the world negatively. Anger and hate became deep, hidden emotions within me, but I did not turn to God. It was not until I admitted defeat—that my stubborn independence was not enough to get me through those emotions and that situation. Lost and looking for a way out, I found myself on my floor sobbing. I cried out to God: “I’m sorry. I can’t do this, not anymore, not on my own. I’m sorry. Please save me…save me.” At that moment I knew that I had met God for the first time; I felt His presence. That was the beginning of my relationship with Him. He rescued me and saved my life. Soon I had two amazing friends in my life, and one of them had a family circumstance similar to mine. We can encourage each other because of this connection.

Then God allowed a way soon after that night for me to be able to escape that trial I could not handle.
Colossians 1:13-14 says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,”. This is the most significant and relevant verse in my life, and I cherish the security, hope, and love it proclaims. He rescued me from darkness, and now my life is His. In all that I do, I want to reflect God’s glory and follow his plan. I still have struggled in my life, but now I know that I never have to go through anything alone. Christ is real and awe-worthy. If I had continued to only know of Him instead of knowing Him, I would still be held captive, and the darkness of this world would have overcome me. Jesus Christ rescued me, and now I’m living for the glory of my God. I realize now that trusting and depending on God is something I am still struggling with. I truly have to rely on God because I have no control over life, just my reactions towards whatever I get handed. I know

I will end up wherever it is that God intends for me to be at. I am realizing now that the way life works are completely different than what I ever imagined before, and I am excited to live it out with God wherever He might take me. But, as I trust God more I continue to see His hand in my life and being able to take classes through CLI is just another way that He has shown me that He is there for me and listens. He is my guide, my savior, and my Lord.