I grew up in a Christian home with parents who modeled personal relationships with Jesus. At a young age, I learned all the right answers to recite in Sunday school and how to appear as a quote-unquote good Christian. I thought that knowing about Jesus and truly knowing Jesus were the same. Instead of pursuing a relationship with Him, I pursued being seen as a perfect. I thought I could earn favor with others and with God through my words and actions.
But then God began to mercifully reveal my lack of faith and desperate need for Him. I was at summer camp in early high school when the camp pastor shared the story of the crucifixion. Although I’d heard it countless times before, this time was different. Something in the message finally clicked. I began to truly realize the magnitude of Jesus’ suffering on the cross—incredible suffering that he would have endured to save even just one sinner like me. That night, I recommitted my life to Jesus.
In the many years since then, the Lord has continually reminded me to lay my burdens at His feet and follow Him. I used to constantly try to conceal my hurt, sin, and brokenness from others and God. Through Jesus, I am made new in Christ. He has made me perfect in His sight simply because He loves me. No number of rehearsed lines or “right” answers or perfect appearances can provide the saving grace, peace, and joy that comes from the Lord.
Now, Jesus and I have a deep, personal relationship. I still struggle to let go of my own agenda, pride, and desire to appear like I have it all together. But God is so patient with me. He reminds me of the reality of the cross daily. And that, in Him, I am made new!