I never really had a reason to believe in God.
I did all of the things you’re not supposed to do, and I was content with my life. I didn’t feel like anything was missing; I didn’t feel like I needed to change. I spent a lot of time drinking, experimenting with drugs, having sex and doing things other people said were wrong.
When I was 19, I found out I was pregnant. I was a sophomore in college, my boyfriend (the father of the baby) had recently dumped me, and I didn’t have anyone I could tell. I didn’t feel like I could be honest with my parents or my friends. I was alone.
My plan was adoption. The child would be born in June in Pullman, and no one would ever even have to know since most people were gone for the summer. But, God had other plans for me and for my baby.
Last summer, I gave birth.
On June 27th, I lost her. I miscarried my daughter, the human being I was growing inside of me. I not only lost my baby, I lost part of me that day, and I was left feeling empty. After the miscarriage, I started doing more and more of the things you aren’t supposed to do. I was drinking daily, cutting myself, and I wasn’t in a very good place. I felt absolutely alone and hopeless. I still hadn’t told a soul even after it was over. I felt that there was no one I could turn to, no one I could talk to who would understand.
Finally I found it in me to tell my best friend what had happened. He listened to me talk and cry, and he told me that it was okay that I had lied to him. He asked if I wanted to go to church with him.
I decided, “Why not? What do I have to lose?”
Nothing. I had already, in my mind, lost everything there was to lose.
I went with him to Resonate Church and it was really weird at first; I had no idea what to do. All I remember now is singing some songs and listening to Keith talk. After that, I didn’t go back for several weeks.
The next time I visited was during the “Lies We Believe” series, which caught my interest right away. I thought, “What? They’re not going to preach about that. How does that have anything to do with the Bible?”
It was incredibly interesting and I was hooked. I started going to a Village where I was able to meet some new people. It was really weird at first also, because these people were all really caring and asked, “Who are you? What’s your story?”
I had never met people like that. They were all so friendly.
My Village leader, Cara, asked me to go to coffee with her. I was taken aback because she knew nothing about me, but she wanted to. So I met with her, nervous about what to expect. I had no idea what was going to happen, but she was genuinely interested in me, and she wanted to continually know more about my life.
Because of Cara I felt loved. I felt cared about and I felt appreciated. She started telling me about Jesus and God, and about the Bible. She began teaching me about what He did for me – that Jesus died for my sins because He loves me despite all of the things I do wrong. As she told me all of this, I fell in love with Him. He saved me without a second thought. He died for me, despite all of my sins and imperfections.
I also continued to fall in love with the community I found in Village, and the way they talked about Jesus. I decided that what they said was true, and I couldn’t believe I had spent so many years trying to live life on my own.
The truth is I was never really on my own. God was with me, walking with me through every hardship, celebrating with me at every victory. He saved me when I didn’t even know I needed it.
I could never imagine giving my child up willingly, like God did. God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to die for all sinners. I’ve lost my daughter and I know how much it hurts, but now I know that Jesus came to save me from all of my past, future, and present sins. And it doesn’t matter that I didn’t believe in Him for twenty years. He was still there with me and God still loved me, and He’s here for me now that I know Him and love Him.
Over the past year Christ has made huge changes in my life. He has shown me what it means to love unconditionally, how to forgive others and even myself. I have learned to be more open, loving and trusting of people around me. Before I was baptized I could count on one hand how many people knew my story, and now I freely talk about my daughter and my experiences with people, which usually leads into conversation about Jesus. I am so grateful to be able to share the truth of His Word and His sacrifice with others.