Miriam Stokes

Miriam on Motorbike

When The Salt Company and Anthem Church came into my life, I was living what could best be described as the stereotypical cultural Christian's life. I knew how to talk and act like a Christian when necessary, but when it wasn’t necessary, I did not act like I loved Jesus. My high school years and freshman year of college were full of parties and bad choices that ultimately left me feeling empty. I thought I knew what was going to make me happy. I thought that being fit, having a lot of friends, good grades, or money would fill me up. I thought the values of this world would allow me to feel full. But the more I had, the more I wanted. The more I wanted things, the more I compared myself to everyone around me. The more I compared myself to others, the more I realized that I was never going to be enough. I felt as though I was never going to be a good enough friend. I was never going to be pretty enough to get the guys attention. I just never seemed to be good enough to achieve it. I wanted the good life, and I wanted it on my terms, but if times got really rough I knew I had Jesus as my back up plan. If I wanted something I would just pray for it because the Bible says “ask and you shall receive,” right? I had no idea how little I actually understood.

By God’s grace He put the right people in my life at the right time. At the end of my freshman year of college (before Anthem started), Salt was doing some practice runs that I was lucky enough to be invited to by one of my close friends. There, people like Christina and Ana instantly became my friends and, though I didn’t know it at the time, they began to disciple me. I never knew what it looked like to be discipled and this wasn't a sudden fix.  Learning to love and obey Jesus was a slow process. I was stubborn and didn’t like being told that I wasn’t following Jesus, but that I was actually following the world. But God is faithful and He just broke down wall after wall in my heart. Last August I accepted Christ, in October I was baptized, and by December I was on a plane to go share the gospel in South East Asia. God’s presence in my life is the only thing that can explain this change. It wasn’t something that any leader said in church, it wasn’t anything people in my connection group said that changed my life, it was God. And He continues to soften my heart to His Word and His truth everyday.

In one year my whole world was turned around. If you are ready to give God your all, He will change your life.  He won’t do it on your terms, but be thankful He doesn’t work on our terms. God's grace and His mercy is so much bigger than anything we could ever understand and He gives it to us out of His unconditional love.

God is present in Anthem Church and The Salt Company and He is working hard. I cannot wait to see how God will continue to change my life and the lives of the people around me. God is faithful with those who are faithful, and, man oh man, are Anthem and Salt full of faithful people.