Carli Goddard

What was life like before you met Jesus?

Life was a racetrack, going through motions without purpose. I was constantly on the search for a happiness outlet, something that could offer me satisfaction. My identity was tied to academics and sports, and when playing was no longer an option, I found a job, worked out, and other odds and ins to fill my time. These “solutions” did not fulfill my heart and, most of the time, I was left feeling empty and searching for the next thing to try out. Life lacked joy and contentment, forcing me to realize the root of loneliness I had ignored deep in my heart. When facing adversity, I felt the need to control my present and future circumstances completely. Through injuries, sickness, and other uncontrollable circumstances I learned that being in control was not always an option, which fueled my need for distractions. At this point in my life, I was a college student who knew of Jesus but not of His mighty power.

How did you meet Jesus?

One night after church, Jesus met me in the eyes of a friend. He drew me in and reached for the weight on my heart. Through this friend, Jesus affirmed that while the world wants me to act like I am in control and push through life without blinking, the Lord wants me to sit with Him and just be. Jesus told me that he loves me, His image bearer and friend. He looked through my outermost layer, directly into the depths of my soul to show me how He knows my heart and continues to pursue it each day. A while before this confrontation, Joshua 1:9 was floating around in my thoughts which says, “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” In this moment, I found truth in this promise and truth in all of God’s word. I was blessed with an encouraging faith community to have the opportunity to know my creator and savior. Jesus provides full coverage over my soul, pursuing every morning.

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

It is hard to fathom being saved by Jesus. Knowing that nothing I can accomplish or fail at will ever have an impact on the love He has for me or the coverage He offers over my soul is empowering. God reminds me that He is in control and that His plans for me will not change, even when it feels like the world is on my shoulders. My life has been transformed since Jesus reached down to my heart with salvation. I now see the beauty of the Lord in new faces and places each day. His love is incomparable and provides me with the confidence to face challenges without the fear of failure or lack of control. Matthew 11:38 says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. Serving me is easy, and my load is light.” My joy is found in Jesus, He is where I rest in satisfaction.