Throughout my life thus far I have felt and been apart of many things. But the one memory, the one experience that I look back to the most, would have to be the re-birth of my life. Before I get right into it and tell you all how this event that I’m calling the “re-birth” changed myself, I want to let you in on who I was before this event happened. And then maybe you’ll understand why this event is the most important in my life…. the one thing I really want to get across is not exactly that the event changed me but it is what I discovered at that event that changed my heart, its never the place that changes you it’s when you discover something new for the first time and you are able to understand the importance of that “something new”, that’s what affects and changes how you think upon life the most.
I was an overall small child, now when I say “small child” I don’t only mean small in my size but just overall I was a small child. As far back as I can remember I had always kept mostly to myself, I had few friends but I mainly just liked to be alone. Not that I hated people or even hated that idea of having fun with others, I just enjoyed my time alone. I believe the cause for this may have been the fact that I had always looked down upon myself, even at an early age I was judging myself and always getting a low score. From a glance through our family window, I seemed just like any other little kid but if you looked a little deeper, through my fake smile you would be able to see a person who hated himself and everything he did. I have often wondered why at such an early age I had feelings and thoughts like that… some people say it is in the genes, others believe it’s the way your handled as an infant. I’m not sure if those may have been the cases or not but the thing I am sure of is that at an early age I already just wanted to die. My mother and father both worked very hard to support the family, they fought a few times yes but it had very little to do what was in their hearts. Money was the big cause of fights around the house, but I suppose what family doesn’t have a fight or two over money? The fights had very little affect on me, its not that I liked them but they were not the cause of who I was.
When my teenage years came upon me, I discovered something new about schools and the people in them. Maybe I had missed the memo, I did after all live in the country, but now at school kids were divided. Not really by color or anything like that, they were divided by who they were. If you liked rap you were in this group, if you liked skating then you were a “skater”, and so on and so fourth… now it was at this time that I began to experience judgment from my follow peers. I had never experienced anything like this… the feeling was heart-crushing for myself. This emotion caused me to look at myself more closely then before, the aftershock of this new feeling caused a rippling thought throughout my mind that I needed to be perfect or I wasn’t good enough. From 7th grade to my freshman year I struggled with this new realization that I had formed in my mind. I found myself becoming more and more depressed with each and every passing day, with each new awaking I found myself more stressed then before about what I needed to do in order to be accepted.
In January of my freshman year I was invited to go to an event called “Hot Hearts”. Hot Hearts is a huge Christian gathering in Lubbock, Texas that I was invited to by the youth pastor at First Baptist Church. I thought about it for awhile actually, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go. My thought of God was this huge old, mean guy that made your life hell if you didn’t follow exactly what he wanted you to do… or at least that’s what it looked and felt like in my life so far. The entire event was filled with acceptance, no one there really looked down upon you for what you wore and what you did or anything like that. I most admit that I did enjoy my time down there, I met some new people and just overall the event was a blast. On the way back to Liberal something happened inside of me, all that day I had felt uneasy. My heart was not really hurting but I know that something just wasn’t right with me. I had heard many stories about Jesus, I was curious about him... “he can heal that misplaced heart, those wings of yours can fixed only if you call upon Jesus….” the pastors words still were ringing in and out of my ear all day. Two friends that I had met on this trip saw that I was a bit “not there” I guess you can say, Jessica and Megan came to where I was sitting and before they could open their mouths I asked them “how did they come to know Jesus?” The question set them aback for just second and then they began to share their stories with me. They told me who they use to be and what they use to do… but the part that I seemed so attached to the most was when they told me about the peace that comes over you when you accept him into your life. “That’s what I want…” I remember whispering to myself. We stop to eat at a local place and I stopped the youth pastor and I remember saying something like this, “I want to have that peace…” He sat me down and helped me through such a simple prayer, I can remember the entire time we were doing this that my mouth had gone dry and tears were now rushing forward. After I had said “Amen” I could feel this huge amount of peace overset, I almost fell down backwards. When the news got out friends rushed forward to see me, I could hear their sneakers hitting the ground a mile away… as they all came over to me, I could just feel the warmth from their smiles.
I wish I could really put into words what I truly felt that day, I’ve tried and tried to explain what exactly went on that day… but the truth is I could never put into words what happened. All I know is that I’m not the same “small child” I was before, after that day I’ve decided no longer to worry about the judgment of my follow peers. I have been forgiven by the one who can truly and honestly pass judgment upon my life. This is the one day that will I always remember as the day of my “re-birth”.