When I was little, my mum used to tell me all the time that “this man named  Jesus is gonna come down and save all the good people.”
When I ‘d ask her exactly when He was gonna come down, she would to say “very soon, He’s just finishing off building everyone’s house up in heaven.” She also told me that Jesus knew every good thing I did and every bad thing I did.
Years went by, and I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I knew that there was a man named Jesus somewhere in outer space, watching over everyone.  The good people and the bad people.
Every little thing I did, He saw.
I went to church on Saturday, and it was hard – there were no young people… The families with teenagers had moved away. So I used to sit there bored out of my brain. And I certainly didn’t understand what the older people were talking about in the Sabbath School class.
Church really wasn’t the same without the youth.
And then my life turned upside down. I went from a  really happy Emily, to an anxious, depressed, scared Emily and I stopped going to church all together.
It started with a friendship which became abusive and after several years of intimidation, I was self harming and I attempted to end it all, I was hurting so bad.
I blamed God – why did He let this happen to me? Wasn’t He’s meant to protect me, not let people hurt me? I hate Him for it and didn’t want anything to do with Him. I wouldn’t let mum talk about God and I started hanging out with the wrong group of people at school.
I smoked with them, ditched school with them, swore with them. I was disrespectful towards my family and didn’t even realise I was doing all the wrong things. I just wanted to fit in.
Early in the year 2016, I was back in touch with one of my best friends, Mikki. She asked me why I hadn’t been going to any of the summer camps. I told her that I had some problems – not wanting to hurt her I didn’t say my biggest problem was with God.
One day, when talking to Mikki, I was very upset, and she said something that really got me thinking.
“Oh Emmy, I love you, your family loves you and your friends love you. But don’t forget about God, because He loves you most.”
The next Saturday, I went to church for the first time in about a year or two. When I walked in, people were clearly surprised, and pleased, to see me. It made me feel welcome. Being there, I felt I could actually be myself for once – I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t.
One night I was praying, asking God if He was real and if I should keep going to church. I didn’t get an answer and decided to give up but just as I opened my eyes, I heard a voice saying “If you do go, it’ll be for the best. You’ll get through life way easier.”
Now if that wasn’t God, I don’t know who it was. I picked up my Bible for the first time in years, brushed off the dust and opened it to a random page. The verse I read was 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“Anyone who belongs with Christ, has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”
That verse made me even more confident that I wanted to come back to Christ. The next morning I told mum. Mum screamed and cried… then she basically told everyone!
I asked mum if I could be baptised at Big Camp, so Mikki could be there.  And so it was that last Big Camp, April 15, I got baptised!
I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard. But ever since I made that decision my life has been heaps better.
I look back over the last few years, and wonder “who the heck was I?” I’m thankful that I got in contact with Mikki, because if I hadn’t, who knows how much harder I would have ended up making it for God to bring me back.
Don’t turn your back on God because you’ve been hurt. Don’t blame Him either. God wants to help us, not hurt us – that is what Satan wants.
God works ALL things for our good and His glory.