We continue in our Friday series, Life Change Inbox. I am sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. None of these letters have been changed in anyway.
Madeleine's story is a great story from one of the people who was baptized this weekend during Follow. I hope this story will bless you...
My name is Madeleine and I am a student at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I have been attending Elevation since the summer of 2008. I wanted to share with you my story of how Elevation and God have changed my life.
During high school I had great friends, played sports and got good grades. I would say my life was pretty great. I grew up in a Presbyterian church with my family and knew the "Christian" way of life. I knew what I needed to act like, say and do to look like I was a good Christian. I always knew there was something wrong with this way of thinking, but I didn’t care enough to change my actions. I slipped farther and farther away from God as I got closer to my senior year. People who I thought were my friends turned out not to be, I started drinking and engaging in physical activities with guys just so I could feel wanted.
From that point on things just got worse. I graduated high school hoping to have a fresh start in college. There, I continued with my bad habits just to try to make friends or to find a guy that would like me for me and not the things I did. When this didn’t work, I slipped into a bad period of depression and anxiety. At one point I even became suicidal. I had to drop out of college and move back in with my parents. I lost everything. I had no friends. In fact, most of my peers thought I was strange. I lost all faith. At that point I didn’t even believe there was a God. I couldn’t understand how I could be at such a low point in my life and this so called "God" would not take care of me. Being home, I had nothing to do and I wouldn’t leave the house for the longest time in fear that someone might see me and start asking questions.
During the summer of 2010 I attended Elevation with my parents one Sunday. There was a series going on called "Christ Alone". I heard Pastor Steven talk about how our identities are not in our accomplishments or failures. Our identities can only be found in Christ alone. It was like a light bulb flashed on. I realized that I was not defined by the mistakes I had made or the depression that had overcome me. It all became clear to me that God had removed EVERYTHING and EVERYONE from my life so that HE was the only one left. I accepted Christ that day and from that moment on I was on a mission to live for Christ alone and no one else. I put my trust in him that he would provide me with friends, the perfect guy or anything else that I would ever need.
After that summer I decided to put my faith in God for the first big decision I had made in a long time. I decided to go to Belmont University in Nashville. I had always wanted to go their but had a fear of going that far away. I knew then that God was on my side and could carry me through anything. I am happy to say I had a great first year at Belmont with no anxiety or depression only by the grace of God.
Today, August 7th 2011 I got baptized at the Elevation Blakeney campus. I knew it was something I was called to do because I wanted everyone to know that I have committed my life to follow Christ. I wanted everyone to know THAT is my identity. A Christ follower.
I wanted to thank you Pastor Steven and Elevation for all you do and that change you have made in my life. I know I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you and the power of God. THANK YOU.
Love love love,