I always considered myself an atheist.
I grew up in a home where my parents didn’t force any sort of belief system on me. They didn’t go to church of any kind, and there was nothing spiritual in my life. My father was very negative towards any and all organized religion, to the point of using hate speech against it and making fun of people of faith.
I was very impressionable in those years and I wanted to be just like my parents. My political beliefs came from my mother and I assumed a lot of my dad’s attitudes towards various things, including religion. I didn't believe in God and I harbored my dad’s tendency to make fun of people who did. A couple of friends that I had in junior high were devout Christians and I used to mock them constantly. My life continued in much the same way throughout high school.
My relationship with my girlfriend in high school was great for a while and everything seemed to be going well, but eventually things changed. We started to fight more and the relationship turned into a mostly physical relationship. We were together throughout all of senior year and the year I spent at community college, where I stayed so that I could be close to her. I had gotten so familiar with our relationship that I thought it was the best one I could get, but I regretted my decision to not go to college somewhere else.
By the end of that summer our relationship was basically all about sex. It was shallow and unfulfilling. I had gotten into WSU for the second straight year and I decided that I needed to focus on getting a better education. Community college was just a joke for me.
So I decided to leave.
When I told her I was going to Pullman to pursue a degree, my girlfriend was devastated. She cried and tried every possible manipulation to get me to stay… but I was unwavering. During my first couple of weeks in Pullman it became clear to me just how bad our relationship was. She was constantly texting me and checking up on me. She didn’t trust me at all, thinking I was out partying and sleeping with other girls, which of course I wasn’t. I could only take so much of this and we broke up on my birthday in late August.
Looking back, I can tell that this was a necessary step in my journey toward Christ. In my first couple of days at WSU I met a guy named Zach. He and I talked a lot when we met. We talked for hours. At one point I remember him mentioning his church and I internally rolled my eyes. He was one of “those people.” At first, it was something that I basically ignored about him but as I got to know him, I saw that he was really happy and he had so many incredibly happy friends. Because I was so depressed after my breakup, Zach’s happiness, as well as the community he was a part of, was really appealing to me.
I decided to check out his church and went to Resonate the next Sunday. The service shocked me.
The sermon was about the “Sex Lie.” I had always thought that sex was a taboo topic amongst Christians, but it was a straight forward service where I didn’t feel like I was judged because of my past. It was amazing.
I decided to go to Village with Zach the following Wednesday and it was the best night I’d had since coming to WSU. The people were so much fun to be around and the conversation kept me thinking. It made me want to keep going to church and to come back to Village as well.
A few weeks later I was at the on campus service where Josh Martin preached about the “Good Enough Lie” and it was exactly what I needed to hear. He preached the gospel and reassured me that my past did not disqualify me from Christ's love or from heaven.
It was so eye opening. I literally cried during the service. I, who rarely show emotion about anything, cried.
The following Wednesday at Village, my friend, mentor, and Village leader Luis asked all of us if there was anyone who wanted to accept Christ. I had no idea there was even a formal process for doing that so I worked up the courage and I raised my hand. I was totally unaware of how big of a deal this was and was overwhelmed by the reaction from my friends at Village.
It was the moment in my life that I felt the most accepted and the most loved, both by God and by my new family.
That was October 24th, 2012. I was baptized on December 9th.
Since accepting Christ, my life has been totally different. I am the happiest I have ever been and I have been trying to get involved in every possible way at Resonate. I go to Village and church every week, I am in an Ethos group, I go to setup at the Todd Auditorium service every week, and I am now an Activate Leader for my Village.
The support I have felt from all of my community has been amazing and I am so pumped to continue walking with Jesus. I love continuing to build my relationship with God and grow in my faith. It has been the best few months of my life and I know now that my life will never be the same.