Happy 4th of July!

I have been really excited to sit down and write this particular entry because today just happens to be a very special day for me. Obviously it is the 4th of July. A day in which everyone celebrates our country’s freedom. For me, this day happens to mean something so much more. When I was 17, I was very confused and lost. I was kind of wandering through life searching for a meaning and purpose. I had moved from Connecticut not too long before and I was cycling through friends trying to find a place to fit in. Then the summer of my junior year in high school I went to a camp that changed my life forever.

Every summer my church takes busloads of kids out to a campground called Masterpiece Gardens for a week of insane sports and life altering services. When I went to this camp I had no intention of having any encounter with God. All I had heard was that the sports were awesome and rough. That was all I needed to hear. It only took two days of me being there for God to get his hands on me. On July 4, 2006 I had given my life to God for the first time. It was a night that has altered the course of everything around me.

It’s been seven years since I made that decision. To this day it is still the best decision I have ever made. The past seven years have consisted of trial and triumph. Tons of failure and small victories. It has been a lot of letting go and sacrificing. More than anything it has consisted of one major lesson. That is, that I know nothing, about anything. At all. But, amazingly it has brought the peace of realizing that it’s okay. When I accepted God I already had a plan. I had a vision for my future and I can assure you it was nothing like what it is now. God changed everything and made it better. He made me better. I wish I could say that my walk with God has been filled with miracles and blessings everyday but it hasn’t. It has been hard. I have been stretched to my limits only to learn I can go further. I have fallen further than I ever imagined. I have hurt worse than I thought possible. Yet, here I am telling you that it was the best decision of my life. Here is why. In the past seven years I have learned how to stand up when I fall. I have learned to hold on to hope when it feels like there is none. I have learned to forgive not only people, but myself as well. I have learned how to push through adversity and walk through seasons alone. I have seen the moments when my strength waned and God held onto me when I couldn’t anymore. I found a place of kindness in a cold world. I have found provision in the midst of thieves. More than anything, I have found what all people all over the world dream of. I have found love and acceptance. That alone has made every fall, trial, and storm worth going through.

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