I grew up in a Christian family that taught a lot about respect and values. However, several years ago, my parents separated and that really impacted the family, especially us, the kids. It was pretty scary because I had never experienced anything like it before. Consequently, without the guidance of my dad, I chose to live a life without boundaries or rules – which resulted in some really bad decisions made.
During that time, I made some wrong friends and became involved in a worldly lifestyle. I was introduced to alcohol and drugs which ultimately led me to a desperate place. My moral values became blurred over time, and I chose to follow my friends and their habits.
One day, in the middle of a really bad situation, I was feeling alone, desperate and scared, and I realised that none of my friends actually cared for me. I was lying on the floor of my bathroom feeling really lost and right at that moment, I felt that there had to be something more meaningful to this life than what I am currently living. In fact, I really hated what I have become and where I was in life.
I remembered the words my dad always said as he prayed for me – that I was always welcomed to live with him. So I rung my dad and made the choice to move to Brisbane. Once I relocated to Brisbane, my lifestyle took a complete change. I found myself in a Christian environment and I saw really amazing things around me. I wanted to be a part of it. It was tough at the start, as I had to learn to let go of the habits that I have built up such as lying, deceit, and the way I spoke. However, what really amazed me was the love and patience I was shown from the people around me. I really wanted to know more about this love!
Gradually, I felt the conviction to leave my previous lifestyle and learn to have a close relationship with Jesus. Something changed on the inside, and I realised that I no longer felt scared, lost or alone, but instead I felt safe, secure and loved.
God has become real to me and every week I get to see lives transformed through His love. God challenged me to take the focus off myself and look unto Him instead. I realised that it is not about me anymore, but it is all about my relationship with Him.
I believe it is with a willing heart that we get closer to God. Today, I am thankful that God has blessed me with family and friends who truly care for me.
High School student
IGVO, Ablaze Service