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Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride| By Jasmine Beard

andre-hunter-263233-unsplashPerfectly primped hair, floor length gowns, blooming flowers, and a beautiful couple at the altar – this scene is all too familiar to me. Over the past five years I have attended countless weddings and even stood in a couple.

Ahhh the life of a bridesmaid! Last year I had the privilege of standing in two of my friends’ weddings. I was over the moon for them and could not wait for their big day.Through my elation and shower planning for my friends, I thought to myself, “when will it be my turn?”

I thought to myself, “Lord, I’ve done it your way, when will I receive what you’ve promised me?”

Have you ever prayed for something and the Holy Spirit whispered a word of encouragement to you and a promise of the very thing you prayed for?

Maybe you’ve said similar things to God. But what if I told you the very thing you’re waiting for is not the prize at all?

That a husband is not a reward for purity, and a baby is not a reward for a godly marriage.

Shocker I know! You see in our carnal nature we think because of our righteousness we deserve certain things. But the Bible tells us that our righteousness is like filthy rags before the Lord.

“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 NKJV

As we tap our foot in impatience and complain about the things we do not have, God is waiting.

Waiting for you to notice him.

Waiting for you to remember him.

“…I  will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

In a season of waiting, remember that God has not left you. He has not forgotten you. He hears you and He cares about the prayers you whisper because you’re too embarrassed to pray out loud.

As a bride sets her eyes on her handsome groom, choose today to set your eyes on God instead of the very thing you are waiting for.

When you set your eyes on the God who lives outside of time and space, the wait doesn’t seem long at all.

Trust Him and wait expectantly for your promise and most importantly keep your gaze on the best Promise Maker and Promise Keeper.

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself| By Rachel Lukinovich

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A gardener was walking through his field one day and stood in front of one of his cherished trees. It was a medium-sized tree, with tiny white flowers flourishing all over.

He said, “wow, what a beautiful tree! I truly am blown away with this one!”

A worker next to him said, “I think this tree is okay, but the flowers are a little weird.”

The gardener reassured the worker that he, the gardener, was the only one who can see the full beauty of this tree because he is the one who invested his life into caring for it.

He then cut off a branch, only to find that the inside was weak and brittle. The worker was surprised, but the gardener was sorrowful because he gave the tree everything it needed to be strong and confident.

This is what I imagine insecurity can look like. Sometimes it is obvious and the whole tree produces little to no flowers because of its weakness, but sometimes the tree seems healthy on the outside and can feel the exact opposite on the inside.

No one really wants to admit it, but as women we struggle all too often with this. Have you ever said these words to yourself?

“What were they thinking about me?”

“Why do I ALWAYS do that?”

“Why can’t I be more like her?”

These thoughts replayed way too often in my brain after awkward encounters with people. It only increased as the Lord placed me in ministry and again when I became a mother. Areas of insecurity were exposed that I never thought were there. Although it did not cause me to shy away, it definitely affected my emotions and consumed brain time when it was unnecessary. I was once that flowering tree mentioned above, seemingly healthy on the outside, but sometimes weak and brittle on the inside.

You see, we don’t want to admit this weakness because we think it’s embarrassing, and others will think less of us.  As a result, we put on a facade as though we have it all together. Let’s just expose this for what it really is- a strategy of the devil. He wants to rob the security of who we are in Jesus. He thrives on us comparing ourselves to others and judging them. He does whatever it takes to steal our attention from how much our Gardener loves us and cares for us, resulting in insecurity and incomplete love for others.

When I saw the strategy of the enemy for what it really was, I made the choice to truly receive my father’s love for me, found security and acceptance from Him, and in return, was able to love others more completely.

“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31

When I dismissed the devil’s lies and received God’s truth about me from His Word, I could more fully walk in the freedom He has given me and truly love my neighbor as myself more effectively.

Judgements and comparisons no longer bound me from loving others, regardless of who the person is.

You see, Jesus saw our full beauty all along. He literally gave His life for it. We cannot let the enemy rob us of what is already ours – security, freedom, and most importantly love.

The victory is ours, ladies!

 

Love Like That of a Believer| By Rachel Lukinovich

 

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No one tests my patience more than my sweet little two-year-old daughter, Ava. Like most two-year-olds, “no” is her favorite response, and only she can make me lose my cool in public.

You know that saying, “there is no love like that of a mother”? This love sees past all their child’s faults and wants to see them excel and mature in the best way possible.

It is a real thing mothers are given. It’s a huge responsibility to choose to love and care for them, despite sleep deprivation, hunger, and a screaming or whining child.

But what if we changed that saying “there is no love like that of a mother,” to “there’s no love like that of a believer”?

You see, I love my little Ava, and although I get to teach her to be a loving little human being, God really has used her to teach me how to love others unconditionally.

Although she is my daughter, Ava is not made exactly like me, nor does she process things the same as I do. Even though she is only two, her little personality and sense of style is already there. While most of the time, she’s calm, cool, and collected, and listens just perfectly, sometimes she screams and has whiny fits, shouting “NO” with flailing arms and kicking legs. She is usually patient and sweet, but whens she’s hungry and tired, she is quite the opposite.

I can truly relate to my sweet two-year-old.

Like the rest of us, she is a person born into sin nature trying to learn and figure out this gift of life we have been given. Just like us all, she needs a lot of guidance and grace, but most importantly, she needs unconditional love.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

According to this verse, deep love is most important of all, yet I have found that I unknowingly tend to put conditions on the love I have for certain people. It’s easy to love people who I get along with or who do nice things for me. But what about that person you try to “love,” but inwardly they get under your skin? Sure you can act kind and try to choose love, and that may work for a while, but sometimes when the conditions are not “just right,” things blow up in your face and all that love goes out the window.

Is it possible to truly love people unconditionally at all times as God does?

My experience with this is a loud YES, but it required me to take the spotlight off the other person and place it on myself.

In my 27 years of life, I have had some dealings with people who were hard for me to love, some very close to me. Yet, the Lord showed me that He wasn’t trying to use me to change or even humanly love them, but instead He was giving me opportunities to grow more into His image – one of perfect love.

This brought me to place of relying on God’s well of love that never runs dry nor does it place conditions on love. Some of the hardest times for me to love a person were the times I grew the most in unconditional love. Or you could say more into the image of God Himself, because He is Love.

“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. “ 1 John 4:12

As I persistently prayed to unconditionally love others, there was an evident heart change inside that allowed me to view people differently and truly love them unconditionally.

This was His plan all along. God is doing whatever it takes to show us and to make us into His image of LOVE in order to display His glory. However, too often we rely on our own strength and fail, when really He’s waiting to pour love out on us and through us as we draw closer to Him.

I can rest assured that if my heart is willing to change and is in pursuit of God’s deep love and affection for others, then choosing to love my neighbor will come more naturally.

I don’t know about you, but this drives me to pursue God even more and draw every drip of love I can from His well.

The love of God is what draws us to Him. We can trust His love – perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

“And may the Lord make your love for one another grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Love Series: The One My Soul Loves| By Rachel Lukinovich

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“I found the one my heart loves.” Songs of Solomon 3:4

As I sipped my coffee one morning, I read these exact words that were so beautifully printed on the inside of my coffee mug. This precious mug was a gift from my college friend when I first got married. The outside of the cup had “Mrs.” cutely written on it, and the scripture on the inside was to remind me of my husband.

Little did my friend know, there was irony in this. My whole teenage life, I sought after what I thought was love. Starting in middle-school I had a boyfriend, and the desire to be liked and loved only grew from there. Of course, I liked feeling wanted and pretty. Who doesn’t like being told nice things?  I enjoyed always having a guy to text or talk to on the phone. The thrill of crushes, dating, and breakups seemed like love, so I rode on that throughout my teenager years.

Fast forward to today – I am married to the man of my dreams, and we have two beautiful children together. As I sat drinking my coffee this morning, the irony hit me – I found the one whom my heart loves long before I met my husband.

All those younger years, I went to church and youth group, lifting my hands during worship. I would even sometimes read my Bible and then often talk to God. Yet, my heart still sought affirmation and affection elsewhere.

I was fooled, as so many of us are, that finding the one our hearts most desires is in a guy. As if, one day, my soul mate would come and complete me, and I would finally feel all the affection I would ever need.

Although my husband is incredible and truly my dream husband, he is a person. He has faults and can never live up to the true absolute standard of perfect love. God gave us a hunger and a desire to seek and find this love. Too often, we go looking for it in people, when in all actuality, it’s Jesus’ love that was designed to complete us and make us whole.

In 1 John 4:8, it tells us that God is love.

What? God is love?

Yes! He, Himself, resonates what true love looks like. His love is not just emotions but is demonstrated through the actions and choices He has made.

“This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10

I guess you could say it was hard for me to truly grasp this great love that God has for me. Yes, He died on the cross for me, but His physical presence wasn’t there, and I didn’t “feel” loved by Him.

Are we supposed to just believe and have faith that His love for us is real?

The answer is yes, but honestly it became an easy and excited yes when I truly surrendered my heart to Him. I began to seek Him first through reading my Bible and surrounding myself with people who loved Him. This brought me into a deep well of love, too great for words to describe. I truly began to sincerely receive God’s overwhelming passion for me that has literally changed my heart.

I no longer choose sin, I choose Him. He has displayed His desire for me even on my weakest and ugliest days. His zeal for me is far greater than anything this world can offer, even if it is lavished in the deepest and fondest ways by my husband or mother.

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

When this unexplainable love from Jesus becomes undeniable, the first and greatest commandment, to love God, becomes something our hearts desire. He compels us to draw near to Him and yearn for His goodness.

Through faith and trusting Him, God has shown me that He will never fail me or let me down. This draws me to worship and make Him the center of my life and the center of my day. With great desire and sometimes simple obedience, I choose to pray and read His Word with anticipation of what He will tell me or how He will grow me.

After experiencing this great love, how can I not choose HIM? He was there all along, waiting for me, waiting for you. I have found the one my heart loves.

I Refuse: When Life Tries To Steal Your Joy| By Tori Savoy

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“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;” Isaiah 55:12

Joy. It is a feeling that seems so simple, yet the pressures of life somehow seem to complicate it.

How many times have you begun a day with the intention of having a joyful attitude? But then, you get stuck in traffic, arrive late at work, deal with an angry customer, spill food on your brand new blouse, forget an appointment you have, and anything else to spoil your day. Now joy is the last word in your vocabulary, and your attitude is stuck sour.

When me and my husband were dating, I went through a rough time in my life. Being happy did not come easy with the hussle and bussle of college, a full-time job, and the dwindling relationships I was dealing with. However, one day he said something that stuck with me.

“God has given you joy. Refuse to let the Devil take it.”

In that moment, I realized that joy is gift. And just like Christmas or birthday gifts, this gift is free regardless of where my life is at the time.

Our joy should not be dependent upon our surroundings because our source of joy is God, not the world and certainly not the Devil. However, the Devil will try to use the things of this world to steal this great gift we have been given. He knows that nothing can stand in our way if we learn to have joy in tribulation.

God’s word says to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4 ESV).

It does not say rejoice when life is splendid. It says to rejoice ALWAYS. Even when it seems as if life is completely against you.

There’s a song we use to sing at my church until we could not sing anymore. The lyrics state “I refuse, I won’t let nobody steal my joy!”

So I challenge you. Don’t let anybody or any circumstance steal the joy that Jesus has given to you as a free gift. You wouldn’t take your most treasured Christmas gift and throw it in the trash just because you had a string of bad “gifts”. So why throw away the precious gift of joy God has for you? Remember, although sorrow lasts for the night, joy comes in the morning.

A Dream Is Born| By Jasmine Beard

Dreams, everyone has them. But what takes a dream from being just a dream to reality?

A few years ago, I had just that – a dream.  It was something that seemed too far away to reach for and something that maybe would happen in the future.

When I was in my early twenties, I thought this future I dreamt so fondly of would magically happen one day, by chance or even by accident.

In my mind, I dreamt of doing huge things such as preaching in Third World Countries and changing the world for Jesus. I wanted to do something much larger than my small town humble beginnings could offer me.

After a hard break-up a few years ago, I found myself a bit lost and on a search to discover who I was and who I wanted to become.

So I began to dream again. I dreamt of an online community of women writing and communicating the truth of the gospel to one another.

This would be a community where women could be part of and receive encouragement in their everyday lives. Women would be free to talk about it all whether it be topics on Christian principles, singleness, sex, marriage, raising children or ministry.

Thus, the idea for Unveiling Eden was born and by the power of God, it has grown into a reality. I’m not sure exactly what God’s full plan is for this community. But, my prayer is that you would continue to come back and be encouraged from what He has to say about you and to you.

Unveiling Eden is finally here, so stay tuned for more. See unveilingeden.org every Wednesday for a new blog post.

Until next time,

Jasmine

Xoxo

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“Wait on the Lord”| By Jasmine Beard

wait“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalms 27:14 KJV

This scripture ran through my head constantly as I approached the end of my undergraduate career.

College wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever dealt with and certainly not the hardest. But, at the peak of a grueling 18-hour course load and a 100-page thesis I was conducting, I was glad the end was finally near.

This was the moment I had waited for and worked towards for 4.5 years, my entire adulthood. I had an assurance in my heart that the months following graduation would be some of my highest yet.

I felt as though I could dream again, outside the confines of a four-walled classroom, and overbearing course work. I thought to myself the sky is the limit, and quotes from the book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” danced in my head.

“Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!”

After graduation, I started my search for a job. Nothing suited my fancy, so I continued to work at the job I had throughout college until I figured things out.

At one time, I had all these plans for my life, “maybe I would be a missionary in Uganda, maybe a bestselling author, or a stay at home mom,” I would think to myself.

As months, post-graduation passed, those plans or wishful thoughts became a distant memory. I felt lost, I felt as though I had no passion, and I had no clue where I was headed.

I figured maybe I had made the wrong decision to get a degree in Communication, and that maybe I would be better suited to be a teacher. Writing and being surrounded by children had always been some of my biggest passions.

I searched the Internet through and through on different ways to become a teacher without having a degree in Education. I was in luck there was a program that allowed individuals that had a Bachelor’s degree to become a certified teacher in Louisiana within a short time span.

I figured I could work at a local preschool while I worked towards my certification in education.

When I landed a job at a local pre-school I was ecstatic to pour into the lives of little ones and discover more about the education field.

My first day was grueling, I found myself sitting in my car crying out to God saying, “why, why, God, this is not what I planned at all.” In that moment, I heard a still small voice say, “allow this to make you better, and not bitter.”

I wiped my tears and figured if this is meant to make me better it’ll sure feel better than it does today.

WRONG.

I committed to working at the pre-school for a year. Firstly, because I had no idea where I was going, but certainly not in education. Secondly, because I hated the way job hopping looked on a résumé. And lastly, I was curious to find out how God would make me better in this situation.

You see I had forgotten the other lines in the book that read:

“I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.”

Geez, if only I had remembered that sooner.

In a world with drive thru restaurants and instant gratification at its finger tips patience can be a character quality that majority of people have struggled with at one time or another.

Either I could run from the what God wanted to do in my heart or I could dive in head first. God had been in the business of making me patient for years. Time and time again I would resist and yet again He would have to rein me in and tell me to be patient.

This time I figured I wasn’t going to get anywhere unless, I finally surrendered and let God teach me the virtue patience.

Patience is the power or capacity to endure without complaint in something difficult or disagreeable; forbearance, long suffering.

There’s a saying “nothing in the world worth having comes easy.”

And patience, though worth having it certainly does not come easy.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalms 37:4 ESV

When we have desires inside of us that line up with scripture and do not go away with time, most likely that desire is there to stay.

Whether it be a desire for a career, a spouse, ministry, children, or freedom from an illness; we as people can at times grow weary when we do not get the desires of our heart in the timeframe we see fit.

When we place a desire on the Lord with a time line we can hinder God’s blessings. We figure if he didn’t do it, he won’t ever do it. That is a lie from Satan. Never in scripture does God say, “pray and if I don’t answer feel free to figure things out on your own.”

We have a God that loves us and desires to provide what our heart’s desire. But, our God is holy and he knows what we need, how we need it, and most importantly when we need it.

The Bible does say,

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5 NIV

Maybe you have a desire today. Maybe you have prayed year after year with nothing insight to give you hope in that desire.

Know that God is much bigger than any desire you have, trust him. And remember in the time of waiting to allow Him to make you better and do not grow bitter.

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Now.| By Jasmine Beard

It’s been nine years now since I gave my life to Christ. These years have been great, they have not only come with triumphs, but trials as well.

I wish I could tell you that I’ve never had a depressed thought again, that I’ve never questioned God’s love for me, and that I’ve trusted God in every area of my life, but that would be false.

Matthew 5:45 NKJV says,

“… For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

You see life is hard for the believer and the unbeliever. The only difference with a believer is that they don’t walk through this roller coaster we call life alone.

In high school my relationship with God was filled with mostly triumphs. I had trials, but all failed into comparison to the new found peace I found in Christ.

When college started, I found myself miles away from my best friend and without a church home. Life was so uncertain. Life as I once knew it was changing again. Real life was beginning, and real life is where our faith can be truly tested.

I was no longer with all the people I grew up with. I had new found independence from my parents and was surrounded by all types of people from different backgrounds.  When I finally found a new church home, I felt welcomed, but so alone. I didn’t have the familiarity of my other church friends, leaders, or pastors. While I smiled at the new church, I was silently falling back into depression and isolating myself from others.

I would leave church service early and go to a local park and cry. From my childhood, I had always dealt a bit with rejection. That spirit of rejection began to magnify when I isolated myself and began to listen to the lies Satan whispered in my ear.

“They don’t like you.”

“You’re weird.”

“You’ll never fit in.”

“You’re all alone.”

I began to cry out to God. I began to say those very lies to God.

I would say,

“Jesus I feel so alone.”

“Why isn’t my family here with me?”

“I don’t fit in here.”

“Nobody loves me.”

To those lies, He would respond in truth.

“You are not alone.”

“You are loved.”

“I am here with you.”

When the Holy Spirit would whisper that truth to me, I found comfort and peace in His words. As I began to stand on the truth of the Holy Spirit, the word of God got louder, and the lies from Satan began to silence.

That is one example of a trial I endured and walked through. Some trials in my life have been smaller than this one, but most much larger. However,the size of the trial fails in comparison to the size of my God.

I have since graduated college and continue to attend that same church. The same church that I once felt so alone in, I can now call the people there my family. My mother has given her life to Christ, and I have since seen God do great things in and around my life.

I am not defined by the trials I have walked through. By walking with Christ, my trials do not overtake me. I overtake my trials by walking through them with Christ guiding my every step.

Psalm 119:105 NKJV

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

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Who?| By Jasmine Beard

In the months after I gave my life to Christ, I began to experience true love. I always thought going to church and being a good person would ensure a personal ticket to Heaven. But, through my experience of salvation I realized that was not the case.

I began to delve deep into the Bible. I had the same Bible since I was nine years-old. It was hot pink with florets all over the cover. The title page read, “Teen edition NIV version.” I didn’t know if this Bible was like the all the other Bibles. I figured it was what I had and I might as well read it.

I was super excited to learn about the Bible which had just been collecting dust on my bookshelf for years. I opened and dived right into the book of Genesis. This book was familiar, I read these familiar stories as a child in a children’s Bible. As I continued to read I discovered all the different books in the Bible and different sections.

After reading Genesis I began reading the book of Matthew. This was the first book in the Bible that really jumped off the pages to me. The book details the descendants of Christ, His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection. Like I previously said, I didn’t have much knowledge of Jesus before becoming a Christian.

In movies and pictures, I had seen prior to this, Jesus was always a man with a skinny frame and long dark hair- far from a picture of strength and a depiction of what a man who would save the world would look like.

The gospel of Matthew painted a much different picture of Christ in my mind. The man Matthew described was a man of strength and dignity. He was a man of miracles that changed the atmosphere when he entered it. I remember feeling in the moment that I had never heard of a life that displayed love so perfectly.

When I entered my second year of high school the person I had always been had changed. And man did others change. Instead of just talking about guys between the ooing and ahing my peers began to experiment with the opposite sex and tell me all they were experiencing.

At age 14, I longed to be loved and craved attention. But, deep down something just told me boys weren’t the answer. Something told me that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. I thought sex was about love, but even at that young age I knew what I was hearing didn’t sound like love.

I began to dive deeper into my new faith found in Jesus. James 4:8 ESV says,

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”

I would lie in my bed and pray. I would ask the Lord what his likes and dislikes were about me. I would read His word for affirmation and revelation of how I should be living my life. He filled every longing and every craving I had for attention and experiences other people were having.

Jesus is a personal God. Not a God you should hide from. A God you should run to. While this world is beautiful and offers nice things, I have found it all falls empty in comparison to the love and freedom I have experienced in Christ.

My prayer is through my experiences and revelations written on this blog people will be encouraged to simply give that “Jesus thing” a try. I did and I’ve been forever changed.

Romans 5:8 ESV

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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Where?

After my cousin passed away, I thought about death a lot. And eventually I began to have a repetitive dream of my own funeral. For a suicidal teen, the dreams were somewhat satisfying to me, as morbid as that sounds. I began to tell my best friend that I thought I was going to die soon because of the dreams I was having.

Around that time I began visiting a local church’s youth group as well as a weekly Bible study. I mostly went because I enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with friends. At the time, I thought simply believing in a god or deity made a person a Christian.

I believed in God my creator. I read all the children’s Bibles as a child – at least, the first few chapters about creation. I knew about the God who created the Heavens and the Earth and the God who created Adam and Eve, but anything past that I had no knowledge of.

I had heard of the name Jesus and that He was the son of God. I took that information at face value and I guess I believed it, but that still didn’t mean much to me.

The summer after my freshman year of high school finally arrived, and the church I had been attending was having a youth camp that June. I wanted one thing that summer, and it was change. I wanted to be different and to feel different than I was. I didn’t want to feel depressed and have a cloud of shame and guilt floating over me. I didn’t know if that was possible or if it would happen, but I hoped.

On my way to the youth camp, as I rode with my best friend and Bible study teacher, I began to tell them about the dreams I had been having. I told them I thought the dreams were weird, and that I thought I would die soon.

My small group leader’s response baffled me. Instead of playing along with my morbid view of my dream, she instead believed the dream was symbolic and that the dream represented my old self dying and my new self being born. I had no idea what that meant, but her response somehow gave me the assurance I needed.

On the first night of camp, we were shown clips of The Passion of the Christ. In the clips, men beat Jesus beyond recognition. They continuously yelled at him and showed no empathy for the pain inflicted upon him. Before this moment, I did not know anything about what Jesus had done on the cross or what His blood represented. I suddenly began to weep like never before. Goosebumps filled my arms and legs, and the blinders finally fell off my eyes.

In that moment, I experienced peace for the first time. After the clips, the pastor gave a quick message about salvation. He told us Jesus died on the cross and took the punishment for all our sin. And that He did this so we could all be forgiven of our sin and have eternal life in Heaven with Him.

That night, light shined on the emptiness I had held onto for years. I realized I no longer had to live a life full of depression and rebellion. When the pastor gave an invitation to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, I didn’t just walk. I ran to the altar.

It was in that moment I realized life is worth living. There is life after death, that Heaven and Hell were no longer things I read about in a story book or just places I heard about, but they were real. And I now knew through Jesus I could have eternal life in Heaven.

Romans 5:6-8 ESV

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person— though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”