Four years ago, I arrived at Palm Beach Atlantic Unversity on a sunny, south Florida day in the middle of August. I was greeted by an eager group of upperclassmen who were more than ready to welcome me to my college experience. Little did I know, my life would change dramatically in the next few months.

I was far from home, at a small Christian school in West Palm Beach, Florida with no familiar faces and a whole new world to explore: I was in my element. I had gone to PBA with the intention of starting a new turn in life, getting out of the old atmosphere of high school, and making a name for myself elsewhere. The first few weeks were exciting and full of new friends and activities, classes and professors. I loved ever second of it. However, I was missing a special someone back at home. At the end of September I went home to visit - had a great time, but was ready to come back to PBA. In October, I did the same thing, except this time I left Michigan feeling a little different... feeling a little more guilty, feeling like something wasn't quite right.

I had been spending a lot of time with my suitemate, girls across the hall from me, and a senior girl who lived on our floor. I would always hear them talking about reading their Bibles, what God was teaching them, and what churches they were attending. I also grew up in a Christian home, attended a great Presbyterian church, but never really got too into living out the faith-if I was really honest with myself. The problem was that I wasn't really honest with myself. I thought for a long time that I was okay; I'd asked God to forgive me for my sins many times but now I began to feel like I was still missing something. November rolled around and the relationship that I still managed to 'maintain' with my special someone back home seemed to be deteriorating. There were conversations that I want to have that weren't encouraged on the other end of the phone line.. and so God continued to tug at my heart. After Thanksgiving, November 2007, I made a decision. I needed to end the relationship with the boy back home, and start a new relationship: with the God-Man, Jesus Christ. My heart had been weighed down by the guilt of my sin for a long time, and I had sensed the need to truly turn from it before, but I had put it off for far too long. Reluctantly, I made the fateful phone call. Afterwards, I was sad, I was single... but I was also inexpressibly joyful. I prayed and asked God to help me live for Him. God was gracious that he didn't snatch me from the world before I had the chance to repent. But once I did my life was forever changed.

My desires quickly started to change too-I didn't want to do the things I had once desired. I wanted to get to know the Lord, intimately, for myself. I wanted to obey God and live out His word. The first weekend in December, I remember being one of the most fun weekends I have ever had-not because I was single but because I knew that I was deeply loved and adored by my Creator. My life began to reflect (slowly but surely) the words that I knew applied to me because of Christ: redemption.

The next semester I began attending a bible church called Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, Florida with a dear friend who had a profound impact on my new life as a Christian. We began going to a bible study of college students and young adults where I saw for the first time ever, young people who truly knew their Bibles, loved worshipping God and had a profound adoration for the Word of God. I was floored. This was so new to me, but so impactful. It was in those next few months, turned years that God cultivated in me a brokenness over my sin and a deep longing for godliness.

My story doesn't end there of course, because this is still a journey that will continue until the day I die (or the Lord returns)! I am so profoundly thankful to the Lord for my salvation and for the work that He has begun in me-I know that He will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6). May I encourage you to never give up on the gospel and the profound impact that it will have on your life: worship God for He is solely worthy of our lives, He has unfathomable amounts of love and wisdom that He is desirous to give to all who call on His name. Praise God for His indescribable gift!