Reach | Testimony #3
Casey Maxwell | Graphic Designer
I did not grow up in a Christian home. We went to my grandparent’s small Baptist church on Christmas and Easter. When I was a sophomore in high school, I dated a guy who went to church with his family, so I went with them regularly. When my boyfriend and I broke up, I kept going to church because I loved it so much. The next couple of years though, God felt distant, like I could not reach Him. I would hear other Christians talk about how intimately they knew Him, and I wanted that desperately. I thought, “If I do this or that, then I will start to feel closer to God and actually know Him.”
When I was a freshman in college, I was involved in a women’s group on campus, and our leader asked me if I have ever heard of the “bridge analogy.” She explained to me that our sin causes a divide between God and us, and Christ is the only way to bridge that gap (through His sacrifice of Himself on the cross). It started to make sense why I did not feel close to God, but even a year after that I thought I could bridge the gap myself.
My sophomore year of college, I hit a breaking point. I had struggled with anxiety starting at the end of middle school that steadily increased each year. The weight of my fear (and sin) got so heavy that I had regular panic attacks, was sleeping on and off, eating less, and eventually was put on anti-anxiety medication. I felt like I was falling apart, and that no one could rescue me from my own thoughts.
One night (after waking up from a panic attack), I got on my knees and asked God to rescue me from myself, my sin, and brokenness. It was so relieving to finally admit that I could not carry that weight and that I needed Christ to save me from that.
After I made that decision (seven years ago), God’s voice has become so clear to me (through studying His Word and prayer). When He wants me to take steps of obedience, I am willing to because I know Him and that He knows what is best for me. I finally understand where I stand with Him because of Christ (having nothing to do with my own merit, what a gift!): I am His daughter, forgiven, beloved, cherished, secure, free, and worthy because of who He is and His sacrifice.