Kelsey K.

Kelsey K.

from MO
Story #398
I was not raised in a religious home; my mother took my older sister and I to church occasionally but we never learned about most of the Bible stories that kids are taught and we were never told about God’s love for us.

When I was 13 years old, a church bus stopped outside of my house, the youth pastor got out and invited my mom and I to go to a dinner at the church that night. We went and I was introduced to the teens that were in the church, they invited me to youth group and the next week I started going. It was fun so I went all throughout my middle school years and into high school. I was only going for the friends and had no interest in learning about God. When I was 15 I went to church camp with a different church and while I was there I became extremely aware of my sin and need for a savior. I felt helpless and convicted but at the same time I felt an overcoming sense of forgiveness and love. I wanted God but I felt like God would never want someone like me. I struggled with this fear for a few months and during that time at my church we got new youth group leaders who I did not feel comfortable sharing this fear with. I finally reached out to them and asked questions about God and His forgiveness. They explained the Gospel to me and told me about God and His love for me. That night I accepted Christ and asked for forgiveness. I started to fall in love with God as soon as I heard about how in love He is with me.

I was regularly going to church and was building a personal relationship with God, but that all came to a halt when I received the news that my uncle had committed suicide. I became very mad at God and did not want a relationship with Him anymore. It got even worse when just a few months later my aunt was murdered. I was so hopeless and angry. I started doubting my faith to the point where I questioned my salvation. It was especially difficult during this time to stick to what I knew about God because no one at my home was a believer but God was working in my life even though I was ignoring Him. I went to church camp with my church and for the first time since my uncle and aunt died, I felt His overwhelming presence and realized that I was feeling so hopeless because I turned away from and denied the one who gives me hope. I started to look at my faith in a different light and after this I strived to make my faith my own and regain that personal relationship with Christ that I once had. I had to realize that no one else was in control of my faith except myself and God. Not my family, not my friends, not my youth leaders and not my pastor. Once I made my faith my own, it was a completely different experience than before. I felt free and joyful, yearning for a real, personal relationship with my Savior. I was baptized shortly after that during my junior year of high school. Since then, I have fallen many times but am reminded of God's grace and His unfailing love for me.

I am amazed by God to see where He is taking me and how He is working in my life today. I am working at my church and get to see others, like myself, come to know Christ. I was blessed to be able to watch my little sister accept Christ and I get to be here to point her to Christ when she struggles just like my youth leaders did for me. God is always reminding me of His plans and His love for me. God has blessed me more than I deserve and I am confident that He will not leave me and that He will be my hope even in my most hopeless times. I continue to fall more and more in love with God everyday as I get to see the ways He works in my life and in the lives of the children that I work with. I used to be afraid of my future, but since I have started to put full trust in God I cannot wait to see what the Lord will do next in my life.