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Church in my life

It took about seventeen years of most of my life to realize how important church was to me. Life changing events happen us every day and to people around us. Those events can be as simple as finding a ten dollar bill on the ground, or as shocking as the death of a friend or family member, or as fascinating as an African American at the head of the United States of America's government. A few months ago, something incredible happened in my life, and it reintroduced me to Christ and made me realize the role the church should play in my life.

Born into a family led by a very religious mother, I was initiated with the Christian doctrine at a very early age. As a typical young boy, going to church was drudgery; I never was excited about it. I was forced to go as a young boy and later because everybody else was going. When I moved to Georgia in 2004, I visited Life Church International with a friend; I really wasn't interested, but decided to go to the youth service on Wednesday because they served free food and beverages. The church became a place where a place where 'the neighborhood kids' and the regular members assembled up to eat and play basketball before the service. However, before the actual church service began, most of us had left and those who stayed used that time to socialize instead of listening and learning.

One Wednesday, I can't remember the exact date, after being confronted by the pastor about my regular routine of parting right before the service commenced, so I was determined to stay for the service. Before the service began, they played some dull game that made no sense to me. Then the youth pastor played a song and requested everyone to find a spot in the room and soul reach. After the meditation, he delivered his sermon and encouraged anyone who desired to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior to go to one of the youth leaders on the stage and engage in prayer. I wasn't going to do that, what an embarrassment it would have been if my friends saw me actually listening to all this 'church stuff', so I patiently waited in my seat for someone else to go to the stage. Meanwhile a voice in within was daring me to go up and join in prayer. The voice won; I couldn't resist, so I audaciously went up to the stage to see what it was all about.

As I reached the stage, I could have sworn my heart skipped a beat; it was as if I had entered a whole new world. Jonathan, the pastor, laid his hand on me and asked me if I was ready to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I slowly and somewhat reluctantly answered 'Yes', so he repeated the question, and my answer was the same. He prayed over me, kindly asking me to repeat his words. After the prayer, I sat down in my seat and quietly listen to the song. As the song went along, something hit really hard; I was feeling rather bizarre. Thought came into my head; I remembered all the misfortunes that had happened in my life, and how the Lord always cared and was kind enough to wake me up every morning. Maybe I was meant to up to the stage and accept prayers, I thought. Unexpectedly, uncontrollable tears began falling from my eyes; I got on my knees and prayed. It was probably the most sincere praying I ever did in my entire life; the pastor came back and put his hand over me to comfort me; I felt fully alive and free. I then realize that this precious we posses is nothing without God.

This event was life changing because after that night I was not the same; I felt liberated from all the wrong I had done which had held me back for so many years. I wasn't ashamed of saying 'Yes' when people asked me if I was a Christian or if I attended church. I felt free to be who I wanted to be, not who others expected me to be. Not only did it help me to live life as a Christian but to live life as a fresh and improved being.



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