Leah Barker

Leah Barker

December 10, 2023 |

What was life like before you met Jesus?

When I was young, I didn't know who Jesus was and what he did for us. I live in a Christian family. We never went to church, but my parents believed in God. The only times I went to Church were when my Grandparents forced me and my brother to go. My brother and I really didn't like our grandparents' church. When we went there, it felt like school. We were told that you had to do this and that to be accepted by the Church. Growing up, I had many questions about why I was at church and why Jesus was important. After a while, my brother and I stopped going there with my Grandparents. After a few years, I started to become comfortable with my own sin. I was fine then with lying, gossiping, and cursing, but I started to get confused about why I didn't always feel loved by people. I thought I had to find happiness in people and the world. I was following the world. I thought that love comes easy. For a while, I tried to find friends who would always love me no matter what. My first friends were a group of girls in my neighborhood. I thought we would always be friends. But after a couple of months, people found other friends. I was just kind of left out. After a bit they all stopped being my friends one after another I was very confused as to why they all just left me. A couple of years passed, and I felt lonely and hopeless that people would care for me. My parents tried to help me, but I would always get mad at them even though they were just trying to help me. Throughout the summers, I would just be all alone in my room, thinking about what my life was going to be like in the future.

How did you meet Jesus?

On the first day of middle school, I saw one of my classmates, and I really wanted to be friends with her. After a while, we started to hang out more and become closer friends. Her name is Linnea. Around January, she asked me if I wanted to go to Youth Group with her at Urbana. I was really unsure because it had been so long since I had been in church. I also had a bad experience with going to church. I did eventually start going to church. Nothing really happened when I started going to Church. I was still sad about people leaving me, but I started to have a bit of hope. That people would care for me. When Youth Camp sign-ups came up, I wanted to go. I was really nervous. I had never stayed that far away from home without any family with me. But I still had my parents sign me up. I wanted to be able to learn more about Jesus and what he did for us on the Cross. This was the best thing to do. One Night session in the chapel at Youth Camp was so amazing. I was standing in the second row of the seats, but then my whole Youth group all went to the first row and were on our knees crying and singing our hearts out. That's when I believed I got saved by Jesus! Jesus has saved me from cursing, and I don't have a desire to curse anymore. Jesus also saved me from lying and not forgiving people that have made mistakes.

After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?

Since following Jesus, I have been sharing the gospel with people at school. I have forgiven people who have left or hurt me in the past. I don't follow the world anymore I follow Jesus. 1 John 5:13 describes that if we believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, we have new eternal life. I want to get baptized because I want to show the church that I accept Jesus Christ as my one and only Savior.