I was a 16 year old high school kid at a Steubenville Conference in the summer of 2006. I had gone through a conversion of sorts right before I started high school, but I was still very “young” in my faith and still struggling with some habitual sins in my life.
On Saturday afternoon at the conference I really felt like I needed to go to Confession. After making a good Confession, the main session for the night began. Right before Adoration began, they did an “altar call” of sorts, asking for people to come and publicly confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the first time. I remembered back to the first time I had been to a Steubenville Conference where the same type of “altar call” happened. At that time, I convinced myself that I had done it before, even though I knew I hadn’t. To be quite honest, I was just terrified to go up in front of bunch of people, so I simply remained in my seat.
However, this time I felt something tugging at me to go up there even though I was scared. I know now that the tugging on my heart was really the Holy Spirit, inviting me in deeper in my relationship with the Lord. So despite my reservations and fears, I walked up towards the front of the auditorium.
After repeating the prayer and being prayed over quickly by the prayer team at the conference, I returned to my seat. Except I was crying. I almost never cry and all of the sudden I am crying… and only because I had said a prayer?… I really didn’t know how or why I was crying.
Soon after the altar call, Adoration began and my tears then turned into sobs. I realized that up to that point in my life, I had put God into a box. I lived life in different compartments: school, home, sports, church. God had a little part of my life, but not all of it.
However, I had just prayed a prayer that I wanted Jesus to be the Lord of my life, not just part of it. Once I had finally let go of my life, once I had surrendered it over to Jesus, I felt overwhelmed by His grace and His mercy. I truly knew at the moment that God was real and that He undoubtably loved me.
After this experience, God flipped my life upside down. I began getting more involved with my youth group, helping with the Confirmation and EDGE programs. I started going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently and I tried to figure out how to have a prayer life. Eventually, I served as a summer missionary for Life Teen and now I run the kitchen at Life Teen Covecrest.
Eight years ago, I never thought that at this point in my life I’d be doing what I’m doing now. It amazes me God’s plans are so much better than mine are. I learned that when you let the Lord have control of your life, the adventure is sure to be more exciting than you ever could have imagined.
Editor’s Note: This blog is part of a series of blogs that relate to our 2014 theme Inspire[d]. If you would like to submit about a blog about an Inspire[d] story that you have, please see these guidelines.