Apr 25, 2017

My Testimony: Why I Am a YoungLife Leader


About a month ago, I became a YoungLife leader. Throughout high school, I was not involved in YoungLife, but God called me to get involved the second I came to college. I wasn't sure why, I just kinda went with it. I went through sorority recruitment and he showed me that he wanted me to go somewhere else when I did not receive a bid. This was my plan for years, so I was definitely devastated at first, but my plan didn't matter. God has a distinct plan and purpose for all of us. We may not realize it at the time, but he sees the big picture when we only understand tiny details. Throughout middle school and most of high school, I had a hard time making friends and people did like to make fun of me. I was awkward and strayed away from social interaction with new people as much as possible. I got anxiety and always worried about what people were thinking of me. I didn't even know how to look people in the eyes when having a conversation; it just made me more nervous. People I thought were my friends would intentionally do things without me and start separate group messages. They would make fun of me for things I was passionate about, mainly my YouTube channel. I was scared to be myself. In the small picture, that is nothing and not even a problem compared to some of the things people in this world go through. However, that is very hard for a teenage girl, high-schoolers can be brutal.

There are so many occasions growing up where I felt alone as if I had no friends. One day, I truly met Jesus. My whole life changed: my outlook, my personality, my friendships, and the way I felt. Jesus turned my world upside down. Little did I know at the time, but he was using all of my struggles to bring me close to him and strengthen me for all this life can throw at us. All of the feelings of loneliness built me up and taught me that no one else's opinion matters. God's opinion is the only opinion we need to care about. There were points where my anxiety became severe and I didn't know what to do. I could not shake this feeling, no matter what I did, nor could I describe it. Anxiety can only really be understood if you experience it. When I get really anxious, I can't think, drive, make logical decisions, or even function without making huge mistakes. I couldn't shake this terrible feeling and I didn't know what to do, so I got angry. I was very short-tempered with my family and spent most of my time in my room. I went through each school day feeling miserable. However, God takes all of that away from me. When I am weak, he is strong.

I am a YoungLife leader becuase my purpose is to help high school students. High school was one of the worst times in my life and I want to help kids through it. If they're having a rough time, I want them to know that we always have a friend in Jesus, and we are never truly alone. If God is for us, who can be against us? I thank God each and every day for dying on the cross and what he has done in my life. I was raised in the church, but when I got personal with God, he worked in ways I never could have imagined. I've changed so much from the anxious teen who couldn't even hold a conversation. Now I am the one to start the conversation and live life with a smile on my face. My soul is on fire for Jesus!! I am a huge optimist and am always looking on the bright side, the glass half-full perspective. There were days where I just went through the motions to get through the week, but now I look forward to each and every thing I do. Every day is a new opportunity to meet people and share Jesus.

I've been trying to write my testimony for months, and God decided it was time for my "aha" moment. These aren't even my words, nor do I feel like I am typing this. God will work through you and use you for amazing things if you let him. All humans are looking for a purpose in life and we can find that in Jesus. It doesn't matter what you've done or what direction you're headed, becuase Jesus meets us right where we are. He created you and loves you more than you could ever imagine. We were meant to love others with that same kind of love. God loves us so much that he sent his only son to die on the cross and take our sin, so that we could have eternal life in heaven. We are all broken, sinful humans, but he canceled our debt and called us friends.

xx,
Daria

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