Michaela Carle

What was life like before you met Jesus?

Before I met Christ, I thought I understood what it meant to be a Christian. However, something always felt “off” as I would feel uncomfortable with prayer, attending church, or listening to others talk about religion. I also feared death strongly, and when my brother died in his early 20s when I was in middle school, I didn’t understand the bigger picture. I cried and prayed many nights for God to bring him back, and I didn’t understand how something so awful could happen to such a good person at a young age. I was successful in my life though, regarding sports, career, education, etc. But in hindsight, I was floating through life without purpose and with a very self-centered mindset.

How did you meet Jesus?

Two people in my life always encouraged faith in my youth/young adulthood, and that was my father and college cheer coach. Despite the sharing of their faith, I still did not understand, nor did I take the time to understand. Church always felt like a chore, and it made me feel uncomfortable. We also moved around often due to my mom’s military status, so we never found a community to get involved with that shared my father’s roots in faith. However, when I got married, I knew I wanted to build our marriage on a solid foundation of faith, and the same with starting a family. Why exactly did I feel that way, I wasn’t sure (now I know God was calling me). I shared my feelings with my husband, who also was disconnected from faith, and he happily agreed. We began looking around Cedar Rapids for a church and had some good experiences and some negative ones. When we came to Veritas for the first time, it was the baptism service, however we had no idea at the time. During this service, I felt deeply emotional and began to weep despite the fact that I’m not someone who cries easily or gets emotional at all! Deep inside I knew that not only this was the community for us, but also that I knew I wanted to have that kind of relationship with Christ. It was an unbelievable and overwhelming feeling. After that, I registered us for Starting Point, Launch Point, Gospel 101, Marriage 101, and we began regularly attending Sunday services. With each day of prayer, learning, and being inspired by the gospel, I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. A verse that led me to trust in Christ was, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9). How amazing to know that Jesus sacrificed himself for us, despite us being undeserving and despite us being sinners, and now we can approach God and someday fully realize the eternal peace we have all because of the grace given to us by Jesus. Wow!

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

Nowadays, I rest more easily, knowing that I’m walking with Christ. I don’t stress about daily things anymore, and I know that I am never alone. I now engage in daily prayer, where I can ask questions, confess my sins, and build a relationship with God. I’ve also experienced improved relationships with my father and grandmother, who express deep faith; we now talk regularly about the gospel and grow together. Between my husband and I, we do our best to turn away from sin and hold each other more accountable. I’ve also been able to take many teachings and share them with my coworkers or athletes that I coach to help them find comfort in Jesus and share the good news. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Rom 6:22-23).