Before:
I was blessed to grow up with parents who attended church almost every time the door opened. They were Christians and good examples for me to follow. I often would catch my mother singing songs like “Count your Many Blessings” during those ornery times in my life. Although I had a good upbringing, spiritually I was lost as a person can be. Miami was a place that made it easy to blend in with others who were not devoted to Christianity. Getting in trouble became a pattern. I would try to follow the godly principles my parents abided by, but I was not a Christian, so those changes were short-lived. I remember God trying to get my attention, even at an early age. It seemed like everywhere I went, God seemed to show up.

In my home church of West Flagler Baptist Church, God used great Christian examples like Mr. and Mrs. Smith to show me in the Bible why I needed Christ.

How:
Over a period of months, God began showing me where I was falling short and missing His blessings for my life. One Sunday at the age of eight, I had a heavy heart prompted by the Holy Spirit, so I walked down the aisle during the invitation at my home church. I remember the congregation singing “I Am Resolved.” Our pastor Brother Casey talked about how it was possible to have forgiveness of sin and a personal relationship with Christ. He spoke about the wonderful truths of how Jesus died on the cross for me and was raised from the dead. I did not understand every detail, but I knew that I had an encounter with God Almighty and my sins were cleansed.

After:
From that point my heart was light, and my eyes were opened to the spiritual things of life. God began to teach me about looking at people and situations in the way that He saw them. The closer I grew to God during the next few years, the more I realized that I needed to depend on Him. My life has been far from perfect, but I know that I can go to Christ any time when I need Him. As I learn more about Him, I know that he has a plan for my life and wants to use me to build the Kingdom of God.