Updated: Nov 7, 2022
by Teya Murray
Many people have different ideas about freedom. To some, freedom is living how you want without authority. For a time, I believed this as well. Later in life, I discovered that Christ delivers true freedom. (Galatians 5:1). Being able to live my life the way every other teen did was what I was supposed to do. Not having anyone tell me what to do with my life was freedom. I saw rules and authority as shackles trying to keep me from being my true self. I lived my life the way I wanted, and I realized that I was still not truly satisfied. Gaining these different unhealthy experiences and unhealthy friendships throughout the first half of my high school career pushed me deeper into a hole that I couldn’t dig myself out of and escape. I was not only unhappy with my life but with myself as well. I was so lost. I was chasing after a world that was nothing but sinful. A world that wanted to do nothing but destroy me inside and out, and that’s what the world was precisely doing (Mark 8:36). It wasn’t until I was at my lowest point that I realized I could no longer handle
what I was dealing with on my own. Everything was falling apart. I needed Jesus. There was no escaping what was happening to me. I was falling further and further into a dark, dismal pit, and the only way I could get out of it and stay out of it was through Jesus. My constant jealousy of other people’s lives, comparing what others have and I don’t have, and seeking attention and love from all the wrong places were all putting me in that place. On Aug 30th of, 2020, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. At the time, many family issues were occurring; Covid-19 had put a stop to my daily routines, which gave me more time to indulge in unhealthy habits and drove me into a deep depression. Not one distraction could cover up the fact that I was drowning in it. Every day was dreadful.
I was empty inside, and it got to a point where I saw no hope for myself. During Covid-19, the big chunks of time I spent trying to distract myself, I spent a lot on TikTok. On this phone app, I saw videos of teens my age giving testimonies. Their lives before Christ were
precisely how my life was. Sad, lonely, and empty. I became more interested in who Jesus was and wondered how He could do such a great thing for someone as flawed as me. I thought deeply about the choice I was about to make. Clearly, my life now wasn’t working, so why not live for Jesus? I haven’t looked back since. God graced me with freedom in Him. He removed the shackles binding me to this world and called me His. (Galatians 5:1) This journey is nowhere near easy and will never be, but it gets easier as you realize that God is always near, even when it feels like you’re all alone.
My second half of high school has been challenging, primarily due to losing many of my friends. Loss of friendships did not occur because of arguments or disagreements, but because I changed and grew out of the person I was, and those former friends aren’t so fond of me as I continue to mature. For example, I no longer want to gossip or indulge in things that will do nothing but ruin me. Initially, it was hard because, at first, I felt I had to change the person God was transforming me into when I was with those so-called friends to remain friends with them. I would step one foot into the world and then, when I was alone, would feel guilty and shy away from God with shame (Matthew 6:24). I was even afraid to voice and display my faith because I feared judgment. However, I later realized that all I needed was Jesus. Even if I lost every person close to me, I still had everything I could ever need because of my relationship with Jesus. He was far more valuable to me than they were, and I didn’t worry if they would disapprove of the new enlightened me (John 15:18). HE chose me, and I was going to accept Him over anything and everyone every single time. I didn’t need those friends; if they couldn’t take me for the person I was becoming, I didn’t need them around me. Because of Jesus Christ, I can now live a fulfilling life. I am no longer a slave to sin or living a life withered in sin. My salvation is secured. (John 10:28-29)