How Jesus Found me in my Dorm Room

For many college students, giving your life to Christ and becoming a Christian sounds like the worst most boring thing that could ever happen to you. When you’re a freshman there are stars in your eyes. You’re most likely in a new city, in a new place and away from all authority so, naturally, your first priority isn’t exactly to live holy. You’re more so concerned about the next rave, party, event or society meet-up and I was no different. In my first year, I enjoyed going out, going to parties and “YOLO-ing” just as much as the next girl. But the thing is, I was never truly happy.

Freedom makes us happier, right?

Don’t get me wrong, there were moments of fun and euphoria, but in my case, they were fleeting. They passed just as quickly as they came and I found myself constantly chasing a “high” that always escaped me. Isn’t that what it’s like when you're young? Society tells us to be selfish, that these are the best years of our lives so we need to do everything and anything, otherwise we truly haven’t enjoyed our youth. If we don’t go to all the parties, and on all the adventure, or we don’t meet all the right people and we don’t look our best, then we will never really be happy. Freedom is what makes us happy, right? Well this is the most free young people have ever been in the history of mankind. We have so much at our disposal now; T.V., music, the internet, social media, 4G wifi and all the things we need to “connect”, so theoretically we should be happier, right? Well, no.

The Freest Generation With The Highest Rate of Suicide In History

This generation is the most free, yet the most bound. This generation is the most free yet the most unhappy. We are bound by our insecurities, constantly comparing ourselves and our lives to other people on social media. Constantly competing for the best this and the better that. Constantly going out and chasing a high because that’s what society, music and movies tells us to do. Constantly seeking love in all the wrong places and ending up even emptier than we once were. Constantly setting our expectations based on unrealistic things and people we see on Instagram, and constantly coming up short. Did you know that the suicide rates amongst teens and young people are the highest they’ve ever been? From 2007 to 2017, the number of suicides amongst people ages 10 to 24 suddenly increased by 56 percent (1). Suicide is the most common cause of death among teenagers and young adults, outpacing homicides and accidents. More young people kill themselves than older people. It seems that the more free we become, the more unhappy and depressed we become too, and I can attest to this. 

My Truth: Jesus Healed My Depression, Anxiety, Insecurity and Eating Disorder

Despite the fact that my life seemed picture perfect and laden with adventure on the outside, I was severely empty and depressed on the inside. My life appeared so “fun” and sparkly on social media that I managed to garner 10,000 followers on Instagram. You would think that would surely make me happy right? Wrong. It only made me more dependent on the validation of strangers and more insecure. If I didn’t get the likes that I wanted I would think something was wrong with me. Aren’t I pretty enough? Aren’t I cool enough? What can I do to get more validation? Simply put: I was never happy and never satisfied. Back then, I did not have the joy that I now enjoy in Christ. I did not have the identity that I now enjoy in Christ. Back then, my identity was dictated by what I thought people wanted. Now, my identity is rooted in who I actually am, in Christ Jesus. 

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

It was in my dorm room and in the midst of pain, anxiety, confusion and depression that Jesus drew near to me and showed me who I was. As I listened to sermons on YouTube, read the Bible and prayed he showed me that I was, and am, God’s precious daughter, and that I deserved to have better than what I was settling for. He showed me that I deserved to have life and have it more abundantly. He showed me that I didn’t need to settle for fake happiness or fleeting euphoria. The cup of my soul was empty but he filled it with living water. Through my walk with Christ, I was set free from the bondage of what society calls “freedom”. I was set free from depression, anxiety, loneliness, insecurity and an eating disorder. Instead of chasing fake happiness, I now live in true freedom and joy. Freedom to be myself and to be content without having to do everything that society deems necessary for “happiness”. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have hard days, or that I’m perfect. But, I now know that instead of placing all my burdens, all my worries and all my anxieties on my own shoulders, I can now place them on God’s shoulders and he will carry them for me.

He is a faithful God and a loving Father who desires to have a relationship with his children. To get to know them, to heal them and to help them. My journey taught me that God cares about the “silly problems”, the problems you don’t want to tell anyone about. He cared about the fact that I was insecure, depressed and alone and he wanted to set me free. He wanted to give me a joy that is everlasting, a joy and a hope that lives within me constantly even when I go through hardships and struggles. The Bible says that, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). My heart longs for the young people all over the world so overcome by their circumstances and negative thoughts, that they allow the enemy to speak into their lives. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but what I do know for sure is that one year ago during this very same month, I gave my life to Jesus and it is the best decision I ever made.