My parents are missionaries, so I grew up hearing the gospel all my life. I made a profession of faith when I was about six. As the years went by, however, I was living a double life. I behaved very differently around my family and church than I did at school or with my friends. The hypocrisy bothered me at times, but fitting in, it seemed, was my priority.
When I was in the eighth grade, I was at a friend’s house one evening, and we decided to watch a movie. I deliberately picked one that I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to watch at home. It was Footloose, which is about the rebellious daughter of a pastor. As the movie unfolded, it portrayed not only her sin, but also her father’s great sorrow. At one point in the movie my friend looked over at me and said, “That’s kind of like you, isn’t it?” When she said that, it was as if my eyes were suddenly opened. Although I had not done many of the things the girl in the movie did, I saw clearly that if I didn’t make some big changes, I would soon be where she was, for I was traveling the same road. The hardest thing to think about was causing my father pain for we were very close, and I realized that if I caused my earthly father grief, how much more grief I would cause my heavenly Father.
In the weeks and months that followed, I struggled with wanting to change, but feeling like I couldn’t. My dad preached on II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” At this point, I really began to doubt my salvation.
The day I finished my eighth grade year, alone on my bed in the dark, I committed my life to the Lord. I no longer wanted to live for myself, but for Him. There were things I was doing that I knew were wrong, and I quit doing them that day. Other things I am still realizing on a daily basis are not in alignment with my Savior’s will. He is continuing to change me, to bring more and more to light that I need to change, and I trust that He will continue to do so until I see Him in glory!