While in seventh grade I was led to a Girl Scout group where the leader was also a youth group leader of a local church. I remember being very excited about the church but I was not mature enough to grasp the meaning behind the will of God. I can see now that many seeds were planted in this season. Right before High School I moved to a different part of town and no longer attended this church. Throughout these years I did grow closer to God. I never denied His existence but I had no relationship with Him. The summer prior to my College years I decided that I would find a Christian group on campus as soon as possible. At the time I had no idea why I felt such a strong urge to seek God but I thank Him for this calling everyday. The first weekend at school they had each club/organization advertising outdoors, I immediacy found BASIC. Fall 2006 was the beginning of a beautiful harvest season. I quickly feel in love with my home church Christ Community and was water baptized for the first time on November 19, 2006. I struggled greatly with my worldly views and lifestyle but I never doubted God’s love for me.
I would say Jesus became not only my Savior but Lord in April 2007. At the time I had a long time boyfriend whom I had just received a diamond ring from. I longed for this ring; I begged for this ring; I worshiped this ring. During the conference I was singing “Your Grace is enough, your Grace is enough for me….” and I froze. I looked up at my raised hands and I began to feel sick to my stomach. The ring no longer represented love and security but greed and sin. Right then I had learned the difference between being in the world and of it. The next two months I rearranged my life and met face-to-face with God daily. Unfortunately that summer when I went home I began to pick my struggles back up one by one. At the return on school I no longer felt worthy of God’s goodness. My brothers and Sisters in Christ did not give up on me. I began to focus on the incoming freshman girls and made sure they felt welcomed at our life-groups, socials etc. I began to spend more time alone and tried to reconnect with God without leaning on people. He, of course, answered the door and began to speak to me very loudly through His word. Everywhere I turned the word love screamed at me. I began to feel this immense love for everyone. I understood struggles and never felt the need to condemn any sin. I found myself preaching to everyone about just having a genuine relationship with God no matter what sin or stereotype they were stuck on. As simple as that may seem, I have seen far too much judgment passed by Christians for the lost to feel accepted by even God. I believe God led me to the field of Social Work at SUNY Brockport to share that very message. Almost everyone I have met is struggling with rejection and self hatred issues, and my heart breaks for them and I not only want but I need to give my life to being these souls back to Christ.
The reason I feel so called to work with Mercy Ministries, or an organization with the same mission, is a true testimony all in its self. At the same BASIC conference where I had given my life to God, I received my calling exactly a year later. It was another glorious gathering of hundreds of college students at this conference from all over New York State. I felt God speak to me many times this weekend. At the beginning He assured me after the heartache of last year, that this weekend would bring me peace. The weekend was soothing but I was becoming worried because I was not feeling challenged by anything. With this aside it was the second night when God gave the main speaker a word for me. He stopped his sermon right in the middle and had the entire conference pray over me. He spoke many good things which included my heart and love for people and nations, my desire to serve God’s Kingdom and my calling to His ministry. I was shocked that God would be so gracious to me. Later that night we were given the chance to be re-baptized in the Holy Spirit. Although I do not know when my first encounter with the Holy Spirit was I know it has been present even before my water baptism. During this the second main speaker prayed over me. He spoke of how I had doubt my calling was into the missions’ field and that if I let God carve me out to be the woman I was meant to be I would see what He saw in me. He also spoke of how I would lead blazes of fire and goodness and grace would follow, which I took as being an advocate or the voice of change. I was again thanking God for his word when a third pastor prophesied over me. He began with, “the greatest of these is love” and I knew that this was no other then God. He spoke very briefly about love and then hit me with the line I will never forget, “you are meant to work with young wounded woman”. That same weekend a friend of mine was at a business conference where they collected money for your ministry. As soon as I mentioned what had been spoken to me he shared your story with me. I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do. Restoring hope and transforming lives can only be done completely through Jesus and I would like to take any part I can in doing this. My flesh wanted to apply for this internship right away but I knew if it was God it would be made obvious.
I recently laid down my reliance on men in my life, which I feel was the strongest hold the devil had on my life. God rewarding my obedience rekindled the fire about your ministry. I was leaving my ex-boyfriend’s apartment when he opened a letter from you thanking him for his donation. I knew instantly that since I had closed a door God had opened a window for me.
I have much to learn in my Christian walk but I am very willing to give my life to serve God. I have spent the last five months working as a secretary at my Church I was not only responsible personnel but finances of the Church. I was also recently asked to be the PR director of BASIC, our Christian group on campus. I believe my hunger for God is leading me to very exciting opportunities that will equip me to serve Him throughout my life.