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Stories of Lives Liberated

Josh

Josh

Once a self-absorbed, deceitful, pride-filled teenager obsessed with being liked by everyone around him. Now a caring, passionate, joy-filled young man obsessed with living a life that pleases the King and that makes an impact on Earth that will ripple into eternity.

 

Who I was before Christ

Pastor’s kid. Church-goer. Worship team musician. Sunday school volunteer. Youth group attendee. That’s me. I was heavily involved in the church from day one. I grew up in a great Christian home with amazing, loving parents who loved Jesus and taught me and my sisters to as well. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at a young age, understanding that I needed to put my trust in him and his perfection instead of myself and my sinful nature if I wanted to go to heaven when I die. Church and family were my entire reality as a child. Then I went to jr. high and high school. Though my faith was still a part of my life, and though my “church involvement” didn’t change, my heart was slowly but surely falling more and more in love with anything and everything the world around me had to offer me rather than what a life lived for Jesus had to offer me. I quickly became far more interested in what my peers thought of me than Christ. I quickly put far more energy into being funny, well-liked, and enjoying my life rather than pursuing how Jesus would ask me to live. I quickly let the desire to follow Christ bleed into a desire to fit in with my peers and live comfortably. I spent most of my teen years trying to assimilate to the culture around me without “getting too wild.” But it was completely draining trying to play games with my faith, giving Jesus little pieces of my time and heart, but never really humbly giving him all of my life and all of my heart.

 

What changed?

Towards the end of high school, I simply got sick of living a double life. One piece of me involved in the church and loving the Lord, and the other piece of me loving the world around me and just wanting to be liked by my peers. I finally got sick of this consistent tug of war in my heart and realized there was a choice in front of me with college approaching. Either go all in for Jesus or all in for the world. I was done playing games with both. I really believed in Jesus and that he had saved me from my sins, but it was time to decide whether I was going to live a life that glorified him and that had eternal purpose and meaning, or live a life that glorified me and had momentary comfort and pleasure.

 

Who I am now

I went to the University of Minnesota for college and started attending a church called The Rock. I found myself surrounded by young men and women at the Rock that were ridiculously passionate about their faith in Jesus Christ and how they could live like him. It was infectious. And I found myself desperate for a relationship with God like that. One with no holds barred. No games. So I started pursuing Jesus with all I had alongside my brothers and sisters at the Rock, giving the Lord my whole heart instead of parts of it. Looking back now, I have so much joy seeing how God has changed my heart and my life’s goals, mission, and purpose over the last few years. I am still a natural sinner and do and say things daily, hourly even, that I know are wrong, and I am quite aware of my depravity as a human being. I am so blessed to have a savior that looks past my sin and sees me as perfect and holy and as his precious child. The emptiness and meaninglessness I felt while playing games with my faith has been replaced by a life that is full of joy, fulfillment, and eternal purpose and meaning. A life devoted to telling others about the amazing blessing of a relationship with Jesus. A life devoted to loving people like Jesus loves them. A life focused on others and not on myself. A life liberated.

 


 

  

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