For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8-10 )
I was that girl that grew up in the church but never had a real relationship or encounter with Christ. Looking back I can honestly say that I always thought that church was always just so boring and as soon as it was over I was racing to get the keys from my mom & ready to leave. I hated waking up early to spend a weekend morning getting ready for church to talk about “ this God” that I’ve never seen and only heard about in “The Bible” or at church.
When I was younger I can’t say that there was a time that I actually went to church and listened to anything that was going on, simply because I believed it wasn’t for me. In my culture & family going to church is perceived as something that you were just supposed to do on Sundays, no one ever explained or talked about why going to church was a necessity & the reasons behind it so I figured it was just something you do(I’m pretty sure many can relate).
Even thought I didn’t listen foreal at church I never heard them say anything about sinning and what was wrong and why it was wrong or anything like that. I grew up very sheltered so when I got to college I went wild! Not just wild, but buck wild!!!! I was in the club every Thursday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday. I was hanging around people I didn’t have any business being around, drinking, having sex and being a “normal college student” and I “thought” I was saved. This lifestyle went on for about a year and a half after I entered into college.
It wasn’t until later that I really found out who God was for myself. I was out at a club with my friends, drunk, and bustin in open (twerking/dancing) on some guy that had no business touching me and I heard a voice in my head talking to me. See, I’d heard this voice a million of times while I was intoxicated or high but I just ignored it. The next morning after probably waking up still drunk from the night before, I decided that it was time to get it together. I knew that, that small voice wasn’t me, but it was God asking “ what are you doing here?” and telling me “I have better for you.” I can honestly say that he found me in my mess.
During that time, I had also just started a Christian ministry on my campus and shouldn’t have been trying to lead anybody. I was still out in the world trying to compromise with God about what I wanted to give up for him, but he still used me! I was so lukewarm during this time, but God still used me! Lukewarm meaning, I had one foot in the kingdom of God and one foot out of it. I wasn’t completely trying to give up my old life. I wanted to be sold out on my walk with Christ but at times it was just plain hard to give up what I was used to and what everyone around me was doing. I was still indulging in my sins, but I knew that one day I’d get it all the way together.
Through trying to “get my life together” and starting the ministry on my campus I was able to learn more about myself, God, and how to have positive relationships with women. As I grew more and more Christ, I knew that there was more. I started attending church regularly and was really serious about getting right with the lord. I got me a bible I could actually understand & started changing my environment little by little. As time went on God allowed me to distance myself away from the ministry group and eventually led me away from the ministry for good. During this time God had really started to work on me and clearing everything out that wasn’t like him and making me look more like him inside and out.
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
I was then led to stop hanging out with different groups of people, I stopped getting sloppy drunk, stopped dating random dudes, stopped going out to clubs, I started watching the way I dressed, stopped having sex and just began living a purer lifestyle. My change didn’t happen overnight, it took some time, desire & spending time in my word. I’m not perfect or anything, and I don’t want to be. I have backtracked so many times, but God!
NOW Sometimes I look back over my old pictures and get so embarrassed, but then I remember its a part of who I am and others need to see this. Others need to be able to look through my IG pictures and see that change is possible. Others need to see that just because your sold out for Christ that you can still be fine and saved! lol!
I can honestly say that I now know that I’m saved, I’m at a good place with the lord and I’m striving to be more and more like Christ each day. As a Christian this is a daily thing, not just a one time thing & sometimes it gets tough. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.(Luke 9:23) Now that I have a relationship with Christ I do enjoy going to church, its actually my favorite thing to do! I enjoy being free in him and not bound by my sins and the life I once lived. I enjoy him speaking to me daily and being able to hear his directions clearly. I love the peace that comes over me when I’m in his presence and knowing that he orders my steps.
I enjoy knowing that God is a changer simply because he changed me and I’ve seen him change so many others. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for him. I can honestly say that I’ve changed so much since I begin my walk with Christ. Before my newfound love for Christ I was broken, insecure, judgmental, and wanted to be seen. Now Im confident, loving, open minded and free from those things that once defined me.
No, I’m not saying that I don’t sin anymore or anything like that but its less and less and when I do its followed by repentance. I encourage anyone reading to develop a relationship with Christ and follow him wholeheartedly. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) When you come to God you don’t even have to be perfect or have it all the way together. Just let him know that you need him, you want to experience freedom, you want to know him & he’s already there waiting on you, God just wants someone who is willing to follow him.
I hope this encouraged you in any way,
Feel free to email me at Kheistontilford@gmail.com if you have anything that you would like to discuss privately or just simply ask for a prayer. If you have any requests or topics you think should be discussed or blogged about, you can email me as well. Thank you for reading!