I can’t think of a bigger win from our Sports Camp ministry then this young lady. Crystal has been touched by God. He used Sports Camp to help ready the soil of her heart for what He intended to plant. Crystal is now a part of Discovery, a part of the family of God, and it all started on a warm summer night at Sports Camp. Here is her story of faith…
Since I was 9 I knew who God was. I knew that He was powerful. I knew He was the ‘man in the sky’. I knew that if I wasn’t bad I would go to heaven. The idea of believing in God came easily to me, or so I thought. Ultimately my mindset of not believing in what I could not see caused me to question. This led to a period of not knowing which side I was on, although I searched for a position. I wanted to feel like I belonged.
Every year I attend Sports Camp and listen to children, ages 5-12 give their heart to Jesus. This inspired me and caused me to ask, why hadn’t I given my heart to Jesus? After thinking it over, I decided that I wanted to discover my own faith. I contacted the Pastor’s wife, Traci. We met once or twice before I made up my mind that I needed help. She suggested that we start meeting for discipleship. I didn’t know what that meant so when I got home I looked it up. She assured me that this was the best first step I could make to start my journey of faith. Still unsure of what I got myself into I proceeded with apprehension.
Our next meeting, she gave me the first week of the discipleship material we were using. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with it. I showed up unprepared and worried that she would be disappointed. The first week in our discipleship was learning what it means to be saved. Traci walked me through the steps. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I read it and couldn’t comprehend what it meant. I wasn’t connecting it to me. I couldn’t take what I was reading and connect it to my life.
I listened to Traci read the steps and scriptures, then explain to me what they meant. After she finished reading Traci asked me, “Do you think you would be able to explain to someone what it means to be saved,” she pushes, “ to believe?” I nervously spit out, “Believe what?” I desperately searched the material in front of me.
Slowly she used her pen to point to the answer she was looking for, it read, “Jesus is Lord.” Traci then looked at me and asked, “Do you believe that Jesus is Lord?” I answered, “yes.” Then she asked “Do you struggle to believe this?” When she asked me that I had to admit to myself that this was the thing that was holding me back. I shook my head yes and began to cry. I felt guilty that I didn’t believe without doubt. I felt ashamed that I would doubt that Jesus was who He said He was, and I realized I was missing the key to being saved. Everyone always talks about speaking to Jesus, and I couldn’t recall a time I had really done so. All this time I thought I had given my heart to the Lord, but I hadn’t.
The next steps were to accept that I have sinned, and to know that if I asked Jesus to forgive me, I would be forgiven. In that very moment, no one but me could describe the feeling. I couldn’t confess to Traci what had gone through my head in that moment. She knew that all this time I had someone else telling me what to think and what to believe. But now, I finally accepted that Jesus is the Lord and now that I understood, she told me “No one can take this away from you.” That instant of clarity changed my whole perception of faith.