December 13, many years ago. I was a senior in high school on a Young Life retreat to a camp in North Carolina called Windy Gap. It was a fun and crazy time, a mix of lots of laughs and heart-to-hearts.
It was a Saturday evening and there was a speaker (I have no idea who it was now). He talked about me (how did he know?). About how I couldn’t be good enough in my own strength. How I fell short over and over even by my own standards, not to mention a holy God’s. This imperfection, whether deliberate or accidental, he labeled “sin” and I was stuck with it.
And he talked about Jesus – as I’d heard many times before. About how He was a real man with real temptations who really loved me and died for me. About how only He could take care of my sin problem, and give me new life, eternal life. Believe and trust, he said. And I did.
It was a cold and windy winter night when I walked up the mountainside. I searched the stars and embraced the wind. And I placed my heart in His hands. I really prayed, for maybe the first time. And I was changed.
Maybe you couldn’t tell it by looking at me… same hair, same clothes, same teenage insecurities. But a profound change had taken place within. A new peace and an unshakeable joy were sprouting up and taking root.
And I have never been the same.