Hi! My name is Kristen, I’m 14 and I love Jesus.

I’m a pureblood Pinay living in the land down under (beware the drop bears!!), and I love my bogan home! I’ve been brought up in a Seventh Day Adventist household, and I count myself blessed for that. I’m an absolute sucker for hymns; I just love them! I often like to sit down at the piano, open a hymnal and let God speak to me as he would through the author of a devotional. The notes keep the songs stuck in my head for the rest of the day. 😉 

I’ve been asked to write something about myself, so here you go! I pray that my story – rather, Jesus’ story in my life – will bless you!

When I was in primary school, I read a lot of books. And I mean A LOT. Yes, I was that one glasses girl who always borrowed the maximum amount of library books and read while the teacher was talking. You get the idea; I was constantly reading. When I reached high school though, we stopped visiting the library, and I didn’t have much time to read anyway. I remember just sitting on the ground one day, feeling a sort of heavy emptiness. Now I realize that this emptiness I felt was where Jesus was supposed to go. I didn’t know Jesus. I didn’t know you could actually ‘know’ Him, I mean, I’d heard pastors always talking about having a ‘personal relationship with Jesus,’ but I didn’t know what that meant. There was Jesus shaped space in my soul, but I kept filling it with things that either didn’t last or didn’t fit.

One day I was on my way back from school when all of a sudden I saw a bright light in the sky! I heard a voice saying, ‘Go unto Brisbane and you will be told-

I’m just kidding 🙂

My conversion wasn’t ‘Paul-like’ at all. No angel choir or disco lights or anything like that! It’s been a quiet, step-by-step journey. He reveals more of Himself and my love for Him gradually grows. I know that He loves me more than I could ever love Him.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I met Him. I grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist home, and was well acquainted with the ways of an SDA child: chill through the week, draw during the sermon and watch VeggieTales after church. Things were either labelled ‘for Sabbath’ or ‘not for Sabbath,’ so I grew up knowing what to do, but not why we do, or Who we do it for. A few years ago, our Sabbath School group studied Steps to Christ by Ellen White. I remember laboriously getting through the first chapter and forcing myself to be attentive so I wouldn’t be lost during the SS discussions. But chapter by chapter, something changed. Jesus spoke to me through the pages, and I gradually realized that I was a sinner. I’d never really thought about it before. I probably got used to it as a household word, or I thought there was nothing wrong with me. After every page, I became increasingly convicted that I could have a relationship with Jesus and that I needed to be forgiven. One night, after reading a chapter, I had a shower. I asked Jesus to forgive me and to lead me into a new life. I told Him that there weren’t things I was ready to give up yet, and I asked Him for help in that. It was a mini-baptism, I guess \(‘_’)/.

And I had a lot to learn from there. I probably thought that it was going to be like magic, I said the prayer and I would stop sinning and everyone would like me and the animals would burst into song and I’d ride a horse into the sunset. But it was nothing like that. I had to fight, and I didn’t realize that. The Devil pestered me with temptations, and I failed every time, forgetting about my God’s mercy, strength and love. My heart grew increasingly callous every time I followed my hedonistic desires and shunned the Desire of ages. I could probably liken my spiritual journey to a rollercoaster, or trying to balance the light switch in the middle but it keeps flicking to either side (please don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s done that!). I’d have times when I’d know I loved Jesus, and after that, I’d have lows where I’d be running away to pursue another idol, a lot like the kingdom of Israel. I’ve had a lot of idols in my life, and I’m not proud of it. When I was younger it was books, but more recently it’s been movies, tv shows and social media. I fell very deep into fandoms and binge-watched seasons. To do this, I would often have to lie or shun duties to be able to watch it. Don’t get me wrong, the TV show wasn’t inherently ‘bad’ (they were rated G), but an addiction is an addiction, no matter what it is. (There were also other factors too, but I’ll use this as a chance to put in a plug for Little Light Studios, so go check out their YouTube videos and what they have to say about media!) 

On one occasion, I was lying in bed, just having finished the latest episode of a show I was currently very into. It was late, and I didn’t know what to do. I knew I shouldn’t have done this, but I wanted to. A thought came to my mind, telling me to come back to God. But I ‘knew’ that I’d said no to Him too many times, so it just wouldn’t be fair if I asked Him for forgiveness now. I still wanted to sin anyway, so what use would it be? Suddenly, the Holy Spirit moved me and I crawled onto the floor. I tearfully prayed. I told Jesus what I had done and explained my confusion to Him. I don’t know how to explain it. All I can say is that the Spirit overwhelmed me. Although it might seem trivial compared to others’ experiences, that was my dark place, and Jesus pulled me out of that. After that, there were still times that I relapsed, and they were always the lowest times of my life. But by God’s grace, He found me each time and led me back to the cross. I’m eternally indebted to His faithfulness and His mercy and His overflowing love.

If there’s anything I’ve learned so far, it’s the extent of God’s faithfulness. I’ve realized that He’s not like me; He doesn’t think the way I do, hold a grudge or give up as easily as I. But I’ve also realized that He is like me in that He knows my pain and He knows my struggle. He doesn’t brush it off or say that I’m horrible for struggling with this. He came to earth and felt the same way when He was tempted (Mat. 4:1-11). But He overcame, and He offers to bring me where I overcome too. He offers me a way out with a faithful, outstretched arm. 

I’ve also realized that the Christian life is one you have to put effort into. You need to set aside time to know Jesus better, but not just a 5 minute devotional or anything like that. You need to wait expectantly and actively for Him to reveal Himself to you a.k.a. PUSH – Persevere Until Something Happens! 

When I was little, people talked a lot about peace and having a relationship with Jesus. Now I know what they were talking about – because Jesus is now real to me. Jesus is my best friend and I don’t want to live this life without Him. By God’s grace, I will run this race with endurance, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, and friend of sinners.

The only thing I want in life

Is to be known for loving Christ.

To build His church, to love His bride,

And make His name known far and wide

For this cause I live; for this cause I die,

I surrender all for the cause of Christ

All I once held dear I will leave behind

For my joy is this, oh the cause of Christ!

Blessings,

Kristen xx

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