I grew up in O’Fallon, Missouri. My family went to church every Sunday. I was raised in a church seemed to communicate more about being a “good” Christian than about following Jesus. As a result, I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 7 and from then on I would spend my days trying to be good in God’s eyes. My life was about my efforts to be good because I believed that if I stopped doing enough good, that my salvation would be taken from me.
This continued when I came to college at Missouri State University. I quickly joined a campus ministry called Cru where I met my fiancé, Madeline, and got involved in a men’s small group. This was my first small group that I was a part of and the men in it quickly began to unravel my sin. I heard the gospel presented clearly for the first time. It was very similar to the gospel that I had grown up with, but this time, it was real. I heard for the first time that I am desperately sinful, and will be until I die. But God, in his infinite love and mercy, has made me righteous and reconciled our relationship. So it didn’t matter how “good” I was. All that mattered was Jesus’ death and resurrection. This changed my whole world. But I found myself frustrated. Why am I just now hearing this?
This began a years-long battle with doubt and spiritual depression. I wrestled with God and his word. I questioned reality and my faith. I questioned the truth of scripture and of God’s promises. In that, I felt alone. Pastor Ted was the first person that received my doubts with open arms and grace. I began to put things to trial and create an unwavering foundation of my faith. And through it all, God brought me closer to himself because he revealed himself to me, slowly, over time.
Today, I still wrestle and fight doubts, but I know what I believe is true. And my understanding of doubts is that they ultimately draw me closer to Jesus. I’m thankful for that.
I finished school with a Bachelor of General Studies with my areas of emphasis in Graphic Design, Entrepreneurship, and Religious Studies. I plan to use my giftings in creative and visual arts to live on mission whether that be in ministry or elsewhere. Outside of that, I love movies (especially Lord of the Rings and Marvel), creative and visual arts, and eating good food with good company.
Madeline and I plan to get married in early March and we’re so grateful to serve at a church like Fellowship!
My Prayer for Fellowship
I pray that people would encounter the real Jesus here at Fellowship. I pray that they would engage with the hard questions, engage in discipleship, and ultimately grow in their understanding of grace and truth in their relationship with Jesus