I cannot remember a day that I did not know the name of Jesus. I grew up in a small town in east Texas where everyone knew everyone’s business. My parents raised me in a Christian home where going to church every Sunday was a guarantee. In seventh grade, I learned that Jesus was to be more than just a Savior and that a personal relationship with Him could be possible. In light of this knowledge, I began to do all of the “right things.” I read my Bible occasionally, attended choir practices, was morally righteous, didn’t drink, didn’t curse, etc. But I soon learned that all of these “good deeds” were only filthy rags before my Lord.

I was self-righteous and found my identity in what other people thought of me. At school, I was this well put-together, never could do wrong, goody two-shoes, when behind closed doors, I was entering into sin and feeling empty. I kept trying to find satisfaction in acceptance of others, my boyfriend, being homecoming queen or my grades, but none of it would do. I was like a broken cistern, filling up my cup, but it always ran dry.

At the end of my senior year, after feeling the brokenness and emptiness of all of my idols, I turned to God. I remember reading Luke 4:18 where Jesus says, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” All of the wooing came full circle when I realized I was a captive to my sin and that it was only Jesus who could break my chains: I finally saw my need of a savior. No matter what good deeds I could bring to the table, they were worth nothing. It was only the unconditional love that Jesus had for me that could save me. It was only His righteousness that was worthy of God’s acceptance; none of mine would do.

After Christ rocked my world, I desired to have a relationship with Him. I wanted to know this unfailing love, and I wanted to follow Him, no matter what the cost. My life is now a pursuit of holiness, full of twists and turns that only Jesus can sanctify.