How I Became a Disciple
As the New Year is approaching, I cannot help but to remember my past and stand in awe of God. June 2013 will mark my ten-year anniversary of being a Christian, and August 2013 will bring my 30th birthday! Spending the entirety of my twenties figuring out life as a Christ follower has been challenging, rewarding, and completely life altering. 2013 will also bring the opportunity to be a full-time writer here at The Two Cities, and so I thought I would share a bit of my testimony so that you readers could get to know me better.
At a young age I was adopted by two amazing and loving parents, and was raised in a Catholic home (as my birth mother had requested). My mother is very devout and truly loves the Lord, but I always had a hard time understanding God’s truth week after week in Catholic Sunday School. I was baptized, made my first communion, and was confirmed in the Catholic Church. Through my Confirmation process, I clearly remember a married couple explaining the gospel to me and for the first time I truly felt peace in understanding God and what He had done through Jesus’ death. But unfortunately the Catholic Church I attended had nothing else to offer me in teaching or growing, and I fell back in my “secular ways”.
In the spring of 2003, and at the age of 19, I was working in an Emergency Room. During this time, God was clearly hunting me down. It seemed as if every time I turned around, someone was trying to share the gospel with me. At one point, a coworker was convinced that faxing me bible verses was the way to convert me, and continually invited me to church. I was constantly hounded by the Fire Department Chaplain and Sheriffs Department Chaplain, as they both shared the gospel with me regularly.
As time went on, I began to see these coworkers less, but God was stirring in my heart. One Wednesday night, after getting off work a few minutes early, I thought I would just drive by a church close to my work to see what it looked like. When I got there I realized something was happening inside the building and though I was in scrubs and tired from a 12-hour shift, something inside my heart was telling my brain I had to go in. I walked through the doors and there standing in the foyer was my friend, the Sheriff’s Chaplain. He said, “Carrie! What are you doing here?!” And I will never forget my response as I said to him, “I have no idea.” It just so happened that my Sheriff friend was visiting the church with his new girlfriend for the first time ever. Coincidence? I think not.
That night I gave my life to the Lord. The next Sunday, I gave my life to the Lord again. And my Sheriff friend (and his now wife) explained to me once was enough. For the next 8 years that church was my home. I was discipled by the youth pastor and his wife (they are still dear friends of mine), I volunteered, I learned, I struggled, I grew and I even worked there for many years. The church, and the people in it, was my cornerstone as I went on mission trips, attended Biola University, made big life decisions, and truly learned what it looked like to follow after and have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
As I remember my past and look forward to the future, I cannot help but to remember the two things that have brought me to Christ and helped to continue my relationship with Christ: Evangelism and Discipleship. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the boldness of those who persevered in sharing the gospel with me (so many seeds were planted for so many years). And I am forever in debt to those who felt called to disciple new and growing believers like myself. Because of this, I feel as if I must continue to give myself in these areas, so that others can have what I have been given. I am hopeful that God would be so merciful to give me life and breath in this next decade of my Christian life to do this work for Him.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’” – Matthew 13:52