Changed by Jesus #52
By Kendra Harris, Ballard campus
I gave my heart to Jesus at a friend’s youth group when I was 16 years old. Prior to asking Jesus to be my Savior, I had never stepped into a church, other than for a wedding.
I was raised by alcoholic parents who were emotionally and physically abusive. But even though I didn’t know God until I was 16, it did not stop him from protecting me and literally putting his songs in my heart. At the age of 11, I heard a song: “I am with you, wherever you go, I am in the wind and always near, talk to me when you feel alone, I will help you be strong.” This was a shield when I was hurting, and a comfort at night.
After giving my heart to Jesus, he radically changed my life. I stopped being sexually active, changed my circle of friends, started singing in a choir, changed the way I dressed, started treating the people better, and used my free time to get closer to Christ.
After college, I met and married a man who was serving Jesus. We had two beautiful boys, we were a part of a church, we served in the music ministry, and things felt right. My life suddenly changed, however, when I caught my husband having an affair. He moved out the same day, took all our money, and left me with two children.
That was two years ago.
On the day he left, I left the comfort and nurturing love of Jesus. I let sin, bitterness, revenge, and pain be my new gods. They are what consumed me day and night. I believed the lies: I was unlovable, unrecognizable to God, alone, broken, and disposable. So I attempted to take my own life.
By Gods grace and mercy, I woke up after 22 hours of pill-induced sleep to my mother sobbing and screaming. I was living, but not alive, without Jesus.
Sometime during this event, Jesus put the song back in my heart. I knew that Jesus wanted me back in his hands. I prayed and searched for a church. I had gone to Mars Hill years before, and the honest truth of the Word spoken there was calling me back.
At first, I felt that I had to be perfect, that I owed God restitution for my sins. I joined a community group and then Redemption Group. The Lord showed me I was enslaved to my bitterness and anger. But I had Jesus to turn to with my pain. The same God who was there on the beach when I turned to him as a 16 year old is the same God who was here now.
I started to see the world with this new heart he gave me. When trials come, I remember that God is fighting for my heart. He wants me to run to him.