Every now and again students ask me why I choose to be a Christian.

I am sure from the outside looking in it might be confusing, but from the inside looking out it is perfectly clear. I usually explain as simply as possible that I have been on both sides of this Christian thing, and choose Christianity because I have found joy.

You see, I dove into this life with Christ at the age of 13 years old. I lived the next 8 years of my life as an amped up Christian teen and young adult. Then the season of dumbness approached me as I turned 21! We all know what that means; “PARTY TIME!” So, for the next 3 years I did as I pleased. I still believed in God, but I really didn’t care about Him.

It literally was like diving into murky muddy waters. I have nights that I can only remember in snapshots. Clearwater beach, hotel, vodka, a boot that I puked in (not a clue whose boot it was), a red drink, and waking up in my car realizing that I was going to be late for my classes and tests. Take the parties away and I was still in the mud. I didn’t have a clue of what I wanted to do with my life. I looked at police academy, fire academy, and even worked offshore as a whale watcher. Yet, at the end of the day nothing really satisfied. I just wanted something different.

Truth is; I just felt lost without God. Then one day a friend of mine invited/forced me to go on a mission trip with her. I went just to stay on her good side. The students began to share their faith stories with me. My heart broke as I realized that I had abandoned the God that had so radically shaped the man I was. It’s like I had been swimming through the mud and the muck when all of a sudden there I was in a cool spring! Things became clear. I needed God. In him I find purpose, I find hope, and direction, and more than that I find Joy! Where nothing else seems to fill the void, not drinks, not parties, not girls, not even money, God does.

Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; and set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

So that’s why… That is why I choose to be a Christian. Simply because I recognize that I am lost and drowning in the muddy murk without Him.