Throughout junior high and high school, I constantly struggled to achieve what society portrays as ‘perfect.’ I tried to be the perfect student by getting all A’s, having the best friend group, the amazing boyfriend, and focusing continually on what others thought of me. Because of unhealthy relationships with boys and the end of close friendships, I experienced a lot of highs and lows. By my senior year, I was emotionally drained and struggled with loneliness daily. Although I didn’t consider taking my life, I did wonder if anyone would miss me or care if I wasn’t there anymore. I was never satisfied or fulfilled in anything I was doing.
One day my friend reached out to me and invited me to a club called Young Life. One of the leaders shared her story and I could relate so much to her struggles. Over the course of the year she shared the gospel with me and encouraged me to attend a Christian summer camp. I was hesitant, but ended up going to camp, and there I accepted Jesus into my life.
I was excited to go to college so I could meet new people and start with a clean slate. My freshman year of college was tough at the start because I didn’t know a lot of people in Columbia and didn’t meet a very many college students who were Christians. I was pressured to go to parties at the start and I thought that would help me meet others and find friends, but it left me feeling more alone.
On day, a gal I knew from high school reached out to me and invited me to lunch and told me about the Salt Company. At first, I didn’t want to go because I wouldn't know anyone else other than her, but Lauren introduced me to her friend Monica and within twenty minutes we had decided to be roommates our sophomore year. Monica convinced me to go with her to the Salt Company and I will never forget the experience of meeting others with such genuine care for one another and Jesus.
Becoming more involved in Salt helped revive my love and desire for a relationship with Jesus. Hearing the gospel taught at Anthem and Salt allowed me to pursue the Lord in ways I didn’t know how to before. I began to be discipled by Monica and Christina and they answered my questions and pushed me to think about Scripture analytically. This helped me in my relationship with the Lord by allowing me to trust and open my whole heart to Him, and I was just recently baptized because He softened my heart towards obedience to Him.
God led me to Columbia for a reason. I didn’t know why at first, but He pursued me through others in the Salt Company and Anthem. I still don’t know what my future holds, but I trust in God knowing that He is good and that He loves me in ways I can’t fathom. I am not lost or unsatisfied anymore. I am found, and I have joy in Him. I love Him, and it is so encouraging to be around others who actively pursue Him every day.