Entering into a high school I think I really began to struggle with my identity. I wanted to be liked, so I wanted to do whatever was necessary to be liked, to be accepted, to be popular. High school really entered into, like the rebellion stage of my life. I was really good at it. I would be a leader in the church youth group on Sundays and Wednesdays. Then the weekends I would be out with my friends who weren’t walking with the Lord, doing crazy ridiculous things, not honoring to God at all. But, I didn’t struggle with that in my soul, for some reason.
Exiting high school, entering college, my mom came to me and she gave me a piece of advice, I think God used to change my life. She said, “Honey when you go to college you need to choose your friends wisely because they will determine the course of your life.” I think she knew more than I thought she did about my actions in high school and the life that I was living in.
When I got a college at Eastern Kentucky University I began hanging out with the same types of people that I was in high school; talking about going to the clubs and going to this in that party. For some reason, it just felt empty, and it was not appealing. I thought, “I’m not certain that this is what I want might like to be about, anymore.”
I was walking to buy my books early on before classes even started my freshman year. There was a little table set up, and they were handing out free popsicles. It was two women and they had a sign that said Campus Crusade for Christ. I was, like, “Woo hoo, free popsicle. Excellent!” Of course, I had to have one of those. They asked me to fill out a piece of paper that asked if I’d be interested in being in a small group Bible study. When you grow up in a church home, that’s just kind of your culture, you don’t say, “No.” to being in a Bible study. So, I said, “Yes, I’d love to be in a bible study.”
There were people around me, in my bible study, involved in this ministry different than me. There was a hope. There was a joy. There was sincerity, a genuineness in their walk with the Lord. They were proud of it. They were not ashamed. It was not some condiment in their life; that God was just like some little sprinkle of flavor here and there. He was their life. It was so attractive to me that I wanted that. I just surrendered my heart and said, “I want to be who You want me to be. I want to walk with You. I don’t care what that means for me, for my friends, for a popularity, for my identity. I want to be in You.