(I met Eric when he was a student at the University of Georgia and I was working with our campus ministry. May Eric’s story inspire you to be active in sharing your faith. Maybe you want to write your story some day. They are great tools! Enjoy!)
I grew up in a Presbyterian family, but religion never meant much to me and I became disillusioned with the church as I got older. I went to the University of Georgia and took full advantage of college life - drinking, dating, and debating philosophy and religion with my friends. I also sought fulfillment through running on the UGA track team. According to conventional wisdom, this should have been the best time of my life, but I still felt empty and unfulfilled. I started seeking more extreme pastimes and over-the-top friends, hoping this would help.
Fortunately some of my teammates were believers who realized that I had lost my way. Two in particular, Adam and Whitney, shared their faith openly and encouraged me to attend a campus Bible study led by a pastor named Steve. Steve took the time to build a friendship with me, and I came to realize that he had something I hadn't know was possible - a personal relationship with our Creator.
Being naturally skeptical, it was hard for me to accept Christ "cold turkey". But eventually I prayed to God, confessing my sins and asking Jesus for a new life. As I studied the Bible, my hope grew that I could be forgiven. I discovered how faithful God is. Life didn't always go my way, but He helped me handle my problems with His grace. I began learning to be thankful and joyful in good times. In turn these spiritual gifts increased my faith.
Later I had the opportunity to teach English and share the gospel in Ukraine. Although I am not outgoing and get very nervous talking in front of groups, God gave me the ability to speak boldly without difficulty in Ukraine. If that was not enough of a miracle, I also got to know my wife (now of ten years!) on that trip.
Though I still struggle with faith from time to time, my relationship with Christ has been the most liberating experience of my life. It has given me the fulfillment I was seeking for so many years. Praise God!
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4 13)
Please write if you have any questions.