22May, 2009

Chris’s Story

  • I Am Second

My story begins about a year and half ago. That’s when the girl whom I loved more than I ever thought possible left me for good, and it really tore me up. The hardest part of trying to deal with the break up was the memories that kept surfacing. I began changing myself in ways that would separate my life from her memories and about six months later it was as if my eyes had suddenly opened to my attempts at coping; the new look, the new music, and, more disturbingly, a much angrier and more calloused view of life.

All my life I had been going to church, raised by my parents to be Christian; did the youth group thing and put on a show. I never gave up the belief, but I was not convinced that God cared enough to be active in our lives. I would show these people that you don’t need a living relationship with God to succeed… I seemed to be doing well in life. But it was all a face and inside I was dying. Then, about a month ago I met Shannon Culpepper. I learned that she was a Christian and worked for I am Second.

Upon returning to school, I was sitting in class the next day with my laptop, quickly becoming disinterested in the lecture. After accepting a friendship invitation on Facebook from Shannon, I was browsing her pictures and came across one of her standing in front of a bill board for I Am Second. I then felt compelled to visit the website listed on the billboard just to see what this organization was about. I was not too surprised to find it to be a ministry group, but I was intrigued to find that Shannon had a testimonial video on their website. I was not expecting what I saw, and immediately became transfixed. The classroom disappeared and it was just me and God working through this girl’s story to touch my own heart, and he did in the smallest and yet most deeply profound way. Hearing about how she felt empty, and called out to God each night to keep going turned a switch in my heart and I suddenly realized something that I had always known, yet kept buried under layers of self reliance: the fact that the only cure for my loneliness, the only filler for my emptiness was Jesus, and through him I would be whole again. It was a small mental change to see this truth, but it made an infinitely vast difference in my life.

Never underestimate the power of the small things.

Shannon didn’t do anything besides be good company that weekend, and that’s all she needed to do to unknowingly act as a catalyst for reviving my faith in Jesus. I have since reestablished a relationship with Jesus and have been feeling better than I honestly thought I ever would. I hope this will bring a measure of encouragement to people who think that they are no good at witnessing or evangelizing. You don’t have to be a preacher on a soap box, just be a good friend and live by His example. You will impact more people than you realize.

Thank you, Shannon.
Thank you, I Am Second.
Thank you, Jesus, for never abandoning me.