My Personal Credo

November 20, 2009
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Reaching my hands into the air… singing at the top of my lungs… feeling for the first time how it felt to be in the presence of God. I was sitting on the front row in the worship center at First Baptist; this was the first time in six years I had gone to church. A new friend of mine, Lee, had been asking me to come to church for weeks. Lee had been raised in a Christian home, and has been through many devastating moments in his life. He has lost both his father and his stepfather to cancer. During his middle school years he went to both reform school and military school before going to Houston First Baptist for his eighth grade year, where he became interested in playing football. Little did I know this seemingly jockey football player would be the one to introduce me to a chance to change my life.




“When is he ever going to get here?” I complained to my friend Colin. We were waiting impatiently on the curb for his friend when finally he came blaring down the road honking, and this was my first impression of Lee. He was a lunatic. We left for the Bullet for My Valentine concert and on our way I realized that Lee was quite the opposite, instead he is actually nice guy with a major sense of humor. Outside after the concert Lee and I started talking and I found out that he was a Christian and actually goes to my school! The following three days were extremely ironic, and now I believe they were something that only God could plan. The day after the concert I went to a birthday party and sure enough Lee was there. Two days later, at a Quinceanera, I was assigned to Lee’s table. These “ironic” events were amazing to me because of how we kept running into each other, and the weirdness continued when school started and I ended up having two classes with him. At this point I was thinking, “What is going on.”


After seeing him every day he started talking to me about church and asking me to go with him. He had even started to tell other people to “recruit” me. At this point of my life, I was not into the whole Christian thing and in all honestly, I did not know enough about it to feel comfortable about going to church because I thought I was going to be made fun of. But there was something about Lee that just stood out to me; he treated me with respect and had a sort of sophistication that I had not experienced before. I finally realized it was because of this “Christian” thing he was so into. While in military school Lee claims that he grew in his faith resulting in the change of his life forever. After much prodding on his side, and many excuses on mine, I finally gave in and went to church.


I walked into the building realized that it was "not at all what I thought it would be." When I went upstairs to the "high school part" and Carrie, a girl from school, ran up to me, gave me a hug, and told me how glad she was that I was there. No one made fun of me because I did not know verses by memory. In fact, no one even asked me to spout out verses. I walked into the Sunday school room so nervous I felt like I was going to be sick, but sitting in there I was surrounded by people I already knew from school, and even a friend I knew from middle school.

After an amazing bible study Lee walked me down to the front row of the church to sit by him. After just three songs into the service I felt changed; I felt good for maybe the first time in years. During the sermon I felt so touched and I even surprised myself and cried when I realized that I actually wanted to believe in Jesus as Christ, that I wanted and needed to be forgiven. It took a while for this to click but that was the day that I accepted Jesus into my heart. Honestly, I would not have been there if Lee had not been so stubborn about convincing me it was worth it to go. I do know that Lee did not change me, but he led me to where I could find God.


During the following months I had so many questions that I needed have answered, but I was scared to ask anyone. Then finally one day Lee sat me down and just sat there until I suddenly blurted all that had been bothering me, and all of the questions I had. For example, one of the questions I asked him was, "When I die how do I know I am good enough to get into heaven?" Immediately he told me, "You can never be good enough to go to Heaven on your own. Jesus died for our sins so that you WILL go to Heaven if you believe in him. Which you do." He answered everything I asked to the best of his ability and even provided advice for me. Lee did not sugar coat anything. He told me that it will be hard to truly live out a Christian life and that no one can really do it because we are not perfect. Along with that he told me to be myself, not to follow the crowd, but to not force myself to be different, and to hold other people to standards.


Finding my faith gave me a purpose in life, to live as an example to others so they can have the curiosity I did to figure out the “Christian thing.” Lee introduced me to a way to change who I was and what I believed in. He taught me to not limit myself to what others expect of me but to what I can expect of myself. Meeting that crazy lunatic, who I found out had manners, has been so far the best thing that has happened to me because it lead to my becoming a Christian, which will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.





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kelley said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 11:41 am
Christine-as your cousin, I can't tell you how emotional this story was for me. I can't stop tears from running down my face! I am so proud and happy about this huge decision you have made. God bless Lee for standing strong in his faith and leading others to church. I was much older when I realized the importance of believing in Jesus and living a life of faith, hope and love. Your story will be an inspiration to others and will hopefully get them involved in the amazing journey... (more »)
 
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