5.16.2013

Shannon from Milk and Cookies

A few days ago, Shannon, a lovely young lady new to the blogging world, approached me about writing a guest post. Although I was admittedly a little hesitant initially, just because I want my content to be consistent with the goals of my blog, once she shared her heart with me, I could not help but see myself in her. I immediately agreed to the guest post, and I am so excited to introduce Shannon and have her share her story with you all.

 
I am a South African girl and I am currently studying Psychology. I am just your average young woman - I make mistakes and I mess up, but I have only good intentions.

I was inspired by the blogs that I follow, and so I started my own. The purpose of my blog is not to gain as much traffic as humanely possible, but it is to hopefully inspire others just the way that I was inspired.


I grew up in a home that believed in God but lacked the important relationship with Him. I remember being hauled to church every Sunday by my Gran and this was where I learned about Jesus, but it was in February 2010 that I actually learned how to love Jesus.

School Chapel.
I remember the day so clearly. I was in my 10th Grade. I was battling with school, I was in the wrong friend group, my relationship with my parents was shaky and things were not going very well at all. I was a weekly boarder at school and I was standing in line for supper when a class mate of mine, Kozi, asked me to join her at that evening’s Student Christian Association (SCA)/Bible study meeting. For some reason, I agreed to go.

I walked into the room apprehensively, waiting for the Christians to bounce on me with their over-eager smiles. I was surprised when this didn’t happen. Instead, Kozi and another girl from my class, Sarah (who were both on the SCA committee) welcomed me and made me feel more at home than I’d ever felt.

I wish I could tell you that I remember the sermon that was delivered or the worship songs that we sang, but I don’t. What I do remember was the feeling of absolute acceptance for who I was – a broken and lost girl who desperately needed saving. I remember God’s presence and I remember knowing that it was time to let go and let God.

Kozi and Sarah prayed with me that night. This marked the beginning of a friendship that would last an eternity. These two girls became my sisters and my pillars of strength and still play those roles in my life today.

Myself, Sarah, and Kozi
I walked away from that meeting feeling happier than I had in a long time. I had no idea just how hard the next couple of months would be for me. I now had to live this new life; a life that my friends were not used to and were not accepting of. It took all of 3 weeks for me to realize I had completely lost my friend group forever. You may say that losing those friends would benefit me – which it did – but I would be lying to you if I told you that those few months after I gave my life to the Lord weren’t the loneliest months I’ve been through. Yes, I had Jesus by my side, and yes, I was developing a new relationship with Kozi and Sarah, but it took a lot of adjusting. My parents were happy for me and supportive (and deep down I believe that they were relieved that I had found some purpose in my life). It took a long time for me to convince those around me that this new me was the real me, but after a while everyone began to accept that this is who I was – a follower of Christ.
I began going to the weekly SCA meetings. I established a good relationship with the girls that attended and it wasn’t long before I was asked to prepare a couple of sermons and eventually step onto the committee. Preaching was where I was happiest and closest to God – it was my worship.
My final year of school began with myself as the head of the SCA committee, alongside my two very best friends, Sarah and Kozi. This was one of the toughest years for me, leadership wise. I found it difficult to lead a group of about 80 girls and be accountable for their relationship with Christ, as well as making sure my own relationship with Him was not suffering. I slipped up, I made mistakes and I stumbled along the way, but the sweet Lord never left my side. Sarah and Kozi were phenomenal leaders and together we had the greatest God-filled year. We were very fortunate to be able to go on many leadership and fellowship camps throughout our years on the SCA and these opportunities taught me so much about Christ and who I am in Him.

Becoming a Christian did not make me perfect - I am extremely far from perfect. I am currently in my first year of University, extremely far away from the people and places I know, I am faced with many challenges and temptations, I do not have Sarah and Kozi alongside me every minute of every day anymore, I don’t even have a Church anymore, but I do have a relationship with a Father who loves me unconditionally, who picks me up when I fall and who leads me back to Him time and time again.

It has been one exciting, challenging journey, and I simply cannot wait for the rest of it!


I hope you all enjoyed this lovely gal as much as I did. Her heart for Jesus is so clear and I know she will do beautiful things in the coming years! Don't forget to enter to win a Spring Welcome Wreath HERE! Giveaway ends May 22nd!

3 comments :

  1. Ah how I remember writing this! I was so new to blogging and really had no idea what I was doing, but I did know one thing - I wanted my heart for Jesus to be made known. I know this was ages ago, but thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story on your sweet blog :) x

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