I grew up in a Christian family where church and community were part of my everyday life, but because of my family situation I looked at God as an angry and punishing god and “obeyed” and “followed” him out of fear. I couldn’t see him as a father and was so angry and confused about how people could say God loved me but had let me go through so many painful situations. My life was a big act, pretending to follow God whenever I was at church or with friends but in reality, I felt like He was a complete stranger.

I eventually reached my breaking point and didn’t want anything to do with God, I decided that I would take control of my life and that I could find happiness and healing on my own. I had never been so wrong, each day felt like I was carrying this big weight. I felt empty and lifeless.

This emptiness was unbearable. I'd try to keep myself busy, but instead kept making bad decisions. After a while I was so ashamed of who I had become and was so full of fear and unworthiness of returning to God.

But God, being faithful when I was faithless, had put people in my life that slowly broke down my walls of fear and hurt and had started preparing my heart for the day I would realize just how loved I was by God and how much he wanted to restore my heart. Even in my darkness He was still there.

One day I realized just how lost I was and how life without God was worthless. Completely surrendered I returned to my father, He didn’t second guess or doubt accepting me. He simply did it. He never judged or rubbed my mistakes into my face. His love for me was greater than anything I could have done.

After inviting Jesus into my life I have seen his patient love mend my broken heart and given me purpose. He has shown me who God is and just how loved I am by Him. I may have heard of God for a long time but today I can say that I know Him and I don’t want life without Him and so today, I am baptized to demonstrate my love and commitment to him.