Written by: Jena Bochicchio
My family always went to church on Christmas and Easter, and we would attend the occasional Sunday morning service. I was baptized as a baby, and later I was confirmed at my church - although I had no idea what that meant or why I was doing it. I became very confused when I learned my parents did not believe the things the pastor talked about on Sunday mornings. I pieced together a belief about God: He was out there somewhere, He loves me and knows about me, and I should do good things... but no one ever told me that I could have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe.
In middle school I searched for my identity in friendships, boys, and grades. Ultimately, each one of these things would hurt me. The boy didn’t like me, I didn’t get the grades I had hoped for, and at the end of my 6th grade year, my closest friends began to bully me. I was left completely broken and lonely, and school became a place I did not want to be.
The following summer a friend invited me to go to a baseball game with her youth group. Immediately I felt like I belonged and I easily made friends with the girls I met, so I started going to their youth group. One of the leaders asked me to meet for coffee, and she began to ask questions about my life. She shared that, like me, she looked for happiness in the things of the world - boys, friendships, sports - but all of those things eventually failed her.
I clearly remember her telling me that we are created with a “God sized hole in our hearts” and we try to fill that hole with different things, but nothing can fill the hole that was only meant for God. She shared with me that the Son of God, Jesus, came to earth as a human and lived a life without sin. Because of our sin we deserve death, but He took that punishment by dying on the cross and rising from the grave; because of Jesus we can have a personal relationship with God.
I made the decision to put my hope and trust in Christ shortly after. I understood the Gospel, and I truly believed that God was the only way to lasting satisfaction. Since coming to know the Lord my friends have hurt me, my parents got divorced, and I transferred from what I thought was my dream college. My life has been far from perfect, but the difference now is I know that through the hard and tough times my hope and identity is found in the Lord. I do not have to be broken by the things of this world because the Creator of the universe loves me, cares for me, and will never leave me.
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