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Academic Development

Essay by   •  June 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,550 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,128 Views

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I was only seven when I discovered that I wanted to give everything I was or could be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was not just because He died for me, but because He loved me. I was completely blown away that the Most High God would love a little kid like me, to send His only son to earth and to die for me. So on a Sunday evening, in the fall of 1987, I declared my heart for Jesus Christ.

It happened on a night when my Aunt Pam had taken me to service at the First Baptist Church in Athens. I don't remember much about that night. I do remember sitting in the pew, next to my aunt. I remember hearing Pastor Ansel Baker ask if anyone there wanted to give his/her life to Christ that evening. I turned to my Aunt and said "I want to do that." I remember walking to Pastor Baker and praying with him. When I opened my eyes, through the innocence of young saved soul, I remember the light coming through the stained glass windows. The light of the sunset made me feel as if Jesus was smiling at me.

My introduction into what it was like to be a follower of Christ was through groups in the Church. Through these groups, learned how to be a disciple of Christ could lead me anywhere; but, it took me years to learn how to be a Child of Christ. I became versed in legalism but I had to learn mercy, grace and unconditional love. Jesus showed me how to love this way through my relationship with my mother. It was my mother that taught me about unconditional love.

I have a wonderful relationship with my mom; but it has not always been that way. I was a hormonal teenager, even into my mid-twenties; I treated Mom as if she did not know what she was talking about, and we would fights all the time. It was not until my parents went through a nasty divorce that I could understand how much she loves me. She is now my best friend, and we have mommy and me nights, which is the highlight of my week.

As a teenager and even early into my twenties I was Mandy Moore in the movie Saved. I had a "spiritual solution for everything" and tried my best to be a cheerleader for God. I remember sitting at the lunch table telling an Atheist why he was going to hell. My cousin Josh, in his senior year of high school, announced he was gay. Instead of loving him I bashed him and told him how awful he was and he was going to hell. I went off to a Christian Missionary University where I learned that we were supposed to love the sinner, and called a friend of my mothers who was gay; to tell him that I loved him. I am embarrassed now by my actions.

I was a campus missionary at Miami-Dade Community College and Florida International University in Miami, Florida, church planting, and going to school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Studying Theology shook my world and caused me to question who and what I believe in. I remember being in class and being asked to describe the trinity and all of a sudden, I could not because it did not make sense to me anymore. I did not believe what I have been learning and it was not okay anymore. I did not want to be told what to believe or how to believe. I wanted God.

For the next couple of months, I would have horrible dreams and wake up with bruises all over my body where I had fought with myself during the night. I tried my hardest to keep pressing in and just trust God, while crying myself to sleep. God would show me His truth I thought. When I went home for Thanksgiving another string came unraveled. My pretend happy family and church were in pieces and they were not living the life they had taught me to live. I prayed harder and deeper than I had ever before, I was on my hands and knees crying out to God to show me what was going on. After a few weeks God finally spoke and said, "Uganda." "Really? Uganda? Where the heck is that? Do you not see my live in a million little pieces here? I followed you and

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