I grew up in a Christian family in Oklahoma, where going to church at least every Sunday (if not more often) was a regular part of my life. At the age of 7, I realized my need for a Savior, and accepted Jesus as my savior. As a 7 year old, my life didn’t change much, but as I grew up, my relationship with God began to dictate more and more the directions of my life. God began to show me that he is not only the Savior of my life, but also my Lord, and only he has the rights to my life.
After college I ended up back in my hometown teaching. After teaching there for 7 years, God began to grow a discontentment in my life. I had my family there, a good job, and a good church family, but I began to realize I had no dependency on God. Through a series of events, God led me to San Diego last summer.
This past year has probably been the hardest yet best year of my life. Moving out here has shown me just how much I let comfort become an idol in my life. I realized how much I had depended on my family, my job, and a state with a much lower cost of living and much less traffic! I found myself yearning for those things, instead of yearning for my Savior.
Visiting my family in Oklahoma during Christmas reminded me of just how much I missed my easy life there. Then, within a week of returning to San Diego, I was contacted by a school in Oklahoma where I had done my student teaching. They had a teaching position open up, the one I had always wanted, and they wanted me to take it. I had the perfect opportunity to move back home, be closer to my family, and to get my easier life back. On top of all that, it was the job I had dreamed of having since college.
To most people, including my family and the majority of my friends, it seemed like a no brainer. Take the job. But I was torn. Not only had I grown discontent in my life back in Oklahoma, I had also grown discontent with my church there. It had a variety of programs and bible studies and things to do, but I found myself wanting more. A couple of months after moving to San Diego, God lead me to Kaleo. For the first time in my life, I was being exposed to the true picture of the Gospel. God began to reveal to me how ugly my heart truly was; I was looking for satisfaction in things other than Him.
As I prayed about my decision to move back to Oklahoma or stay in California, God showed me how much I had grown since I’d been at Kaleo. I realized that Jesus is better than any job I could have and even better than my family.
Staying in San Diego still isn’t easy, but I know God is using this environment to refine me and make me more like Him. He uses the times where I miss my family and life in Oklahoma to remind that He is better and that only He can truly satisfy me. God has also blessed me here with a wonderful family in Kaleo. He uses them to show me the areas where my heart tends to stray from Him and to remind me that Jesus is better than anything I try to replace Him with. For the first time, I feel like I’m a part of a church like the ones described in Acts, and I’m excited to see how God continues to grow me and use me to help Him be glorified in my life and in this city.