Switch Changed My Life

February 21, 2010
I for one have always strongly disliked going to church; it just felt like torture to me as a child. Honestly, I would love someone to try and tell me that for a child sitting for over an hour listening to words and phrases I they did not understand was enjoyable for them. What was the point I always wondered; I mean I never got anything out of it. Slowly, through the years of my childhood, my parents finally felt that we were not the kind of ‘church going’ family. Instead, on Christmas and Easter, we would go out to a movie as a family; my mother, father, brother and me of course. That seemed to work well for us; however I never found out what I was truly missing out on by not going to church, until now.

I have learned a lot from stupid decisions I have made throughout the years of grades k-12; yet most of those lessons learned were from my high school experiences. I was that typical teenager who believed she was invincible and nothing would ever happen to the people I love or me for that matter; yeah, I was wrong. My friends from my childhood and I lost our connection that we had before, all of our reputations went for twists and turns and in the end we have all been separated. I found an incredible friend my sophomore year, and then lost her as a friend that coming summer and it felt as if my heart was broken. I then became friends with a girl named Liz, who in the end turned out to be a troublemaker and our personality mixed was a horrible mix. What ended our friendship was a car crash that has forever changed my life and it was not until now that I realized how lucky I am for so many things in life.

Going into college I had no idea what to expect; my biggest surprise was my separation anxiety from home and my best friend (Jackie), the one from sophomore year – we became best friends once again. Being in a single room was probably not the best way to make friends but I liked my alone time because I was depressed and I hate bringing others down with me. One class that I had was called Quest For Success, where we would study our ancestry and find out where we truly come from. This is where I met my roommate, Aliyah, who I awkwardly started up a conversation about our class with her. However, after that one conversation we seemed to just click and we have been best friends ever since; we then decided to move in together because her roommate was leaving. Now with Aliyah being involved in a church back at home she was always going home for Wednesday nights and the weekends to be involved in what is called, “Switch”. I began to drive her there on Wednesday nights and slowly began to stay at the church longer and longer to see what it was and what they did there. I could not believe it was a church with all these children running around outside playing football, guitar hero inside the church as well as the Wii. When church began at 7:00pm Joe, the pastor, was up on stage with a guitar, two other electric guitar players as well as a drummer and he was singing with the children all gathered around as if it was a concert. After a few songs we sat down to watch a part of the series they were in. The first one I watched was called “Be Mine”; what I didn’t know is that it was going to forever change my life and connection with God.

After the clip was shown Joe came out from behind the screen and said that he wanted to read the passage that was just quoted on the screen, of course I did not know what it had meant but then Joe began to explain it in his own words. He said, “In this world people are always saying to one another, I will love you if…but God’s love is unconditional meaning he we love you no matter what you do.” I immediately began to think about my parents because that is all they have ever done for me, loved me unconditionally. The more I thought about it the more I realized how rare that is in this world; in fact it is almost impossible to find unconditional love in a human. I never truly believe in God or even understood the meaning of him; but in just three weeks I have found something incredible, something that I hope everyone in this world can find for themselves someday soon, and what I have found is a whole new meaning/outlook of life. I have found how to not just love myself but how to love myself while at the same time love everyone around me. Joe and Beth, who are married and run the church, which I am now training to be a leader at, are two of the most incredible people I have ever met in my life. Their dedication to not just God but the children at the church has touched my heart and I look up to them hoping that one day I too will make a change in at least just one life like they have in mine. I am so incredibly grateful for them as well as my roommate Aliyah for bringing me there in the first place. I have made, what I believe to be, mistakes in my life but I now know that no matter what I do I will always be forgiven and that there is hope in everyone’s lives.

I still do not quite believe in God, I want to believe he is there and I am so close to reaching that goal but it’s only been three weeks since I have found him. While being interviewed to become a lead for Switch Joe was there as well as this man Erin who asked me, “So why are you passionate about Switch?” I just started crying right away because my family, friends and the stories of my past that had given me the shock of my life. Although I do not have that strong connection with God quite yet what I do believe in is my good fortune, that me being adopted and being put into the family I am in today was no coincidence. And I believe that I am here for a reason; I may not know what that reason is now, but I know that I am going to find out. I thought that I was grateful before for my family, friends and just life in general but I had no idea how grateful I really was until I found Switch. It has forever changed my life; last night I prayed for the first time for my friends, family and everyone out there who has not found God. I have realized how lucky I am to have my best friend Jackie in my life and that there is a reason that she and I became friends again. She is one of four sisters and two brothers and may not have had the best childhood growing up but she is forever going to be a part of my life as well as my family. Nevertheless, she and I have learned one of the greatest lessons in life, best friends doesn’t mean being inseparable…it means being separated and nothing changes because just like the stars in the sky; you may not be able to always see them but they’re always going to be there no matter what.

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Ginger said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm
What a fabulous article. And as your Godmother I am SOOO delighted that God has touched your heart through Joe and Beth. May God bless all of you.
squeakersx66 said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm
Just wanted to say that the other man I was interviewed by was named Eric, not Erin...haha sorry about the error! <3
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