Before I share Jesse’s story, I want everyone to know how thankful I am that he shared this with all of us, and I pray that this touches someone’s heart. He wrote this:
My name is Jesse, I am seventeen years old from Kentucky and I want to share with you what our awesome, and outstandingly gracious God has done in my life. In other words I am going to share my story or testimony.
To start off I was raised in a Christian home. I was a church kid from the day I was born. My parents would read me Bible stories when I was growing up, they would always take me to church and stuff like that. I am very thankful and blessed that God placed me in the home and family that He did. One day, when I was seven years old I claimed to have made a profession of faith. Basically I walked an aisle and prayed a prayer that meant nothing to me. I only did it because my brother did weeks before, I wanted to be like him. So I said I was saved, but I knew I was not. I lied. No change had taken my place, I knew all about a Savior who died for me but I didn’t believe it.
Taking all that into account, I started middle school years later. This is where I started “growing up” or “changing” and it was for the worst my friends. In sixth grade I started to smoke cigarettes, cigars and stuff. I had to shoplift them from a gas station close to my house since I was underage and wasn’t permitted to buy them legally. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, I really thought I was something, but I was nothing apart from Jesus Christ. Time went on, so did my life. I began smoking weed, drinking alcohol, and doing pills. I thought this would make me happy, and feel cool among my peers. I would seriously brag about it to my friends at school. I smoked, drank, stole, and did pills throughout middle school.
My eighth grade year is when I began to get out of the drugs. I started going to church with intentions to pay attention, and learn for the very first time in my life. I had always gone because that is what I have always done. I started reading my Bible and hanging out with my youth group a lot more. All this was goof, but I still knew I was not saved. I would go with my church to church camp almost every year. Every year when the invitation was given I always got this feeling, I knew that I was not saved, I knew I needed to be redeemed by Jesus Christ. But instead of surrendering my life to Christ and asking Him to save me, I would ‘rededicate” my life to Him. Yet there was nothing to rededicate to Him in the first place, I wasn’t saved and surely not living for Him and His kingdom. I just did that to try and assure myself that I was saved because I walked an aisle when I was younger, this wasn’t the case in reality.
My freshman year in high school is when God really started working in my life, without me noticing. I started to play soccer, and I fell in love with the sport. Some friends and I would always go up to the soccer field and play around, and kick a bit. One was a Christian by the way. After we were finished playing soccer we would go hangout at McDonalds and talk for hours. Every single time, no matter what Jesus was always brought into the conversations. My Christian friend always brought Him up. She would ask “If Jesus came back today, would you go to heaven?” Or, “If you died right now, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” My reply of course was “Heaven, I am a Christian!” but that was a bold face lie. I always felt like I should change that, but I never did.
In the summer of my freshman year, I went on a mission trip to Georgia. It was awesome, I was so happy. But something was still missing, that was Jesus in my life. One night our youth group was sitting outside in a circle just talking laughing and all that good stuff. Then someone asked, “What if Jesus came back right now? Wouldn’t that be crazy?” I got that feeling again, I started debating myself. Then said enough is enough, so I went inside and talked to my youth leader. Jesus Christ saved me on July 20, 2011. It was great, fantastic, just wonderful. I finally found the joy that I couldn’t find in the drugs. I could only find it in Jesus. He is peace. Jesus is pure happiness. I am so undeserving of His love, I sin everyday yet He still loves me. I have never been the same since, He changed my life and I fell in love with everything that Jesus is.
So I don’t know what you are facing in life today. Maybe you are like me, said you were a Christian but you know deep down in your heart that you aren’t, if you die you would go to Hell. Maybe you struggle with self worth, you don’t think you are good enough. You think that you don’t deserve life, you could possibly contemplate suicide. Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life. He sacrificed Himself and rose from the grave so you could have salvation. Those of you who think suicidal thoughts, Jesus died so you could live. Reach out for Jesus. He is always there. Or maybe you live in a broken home. Your father isn’t there, well you have a heavenly Father who will never abandon you and will love you unconditionally.
Thank you for reading, all the glory to God.