I was born on November 11, 1989. My mother had a c-section, and didn't get to see me for a few hours after I was born. The first person that held me was my father. Unfortunately, he didn't stick around much longer, and my mother raised me on her own from Day 1.
We lived with my Grandparents for the first year of my life. My mother's parents are both Maltese (Malta is a little island south of Sicily). My grandparents were very influential in my life, and I was fortunate enough to be raised in a beautiful culture where love is abundant and hugs and kisses are never far.
[Our visit to Malta. I am the baby in the blue bathing suit. My Nanu - grandfather - is holding me]
Before my second birthday I started to attend Precious Jewels Daycare in Brampton. I was introduced to the love of Jesus Christ, and the gospel, at the daycare. I learned that Jesus loves me at the age of 3, and was not afraid to tell others.
I lived much of my life at Precious Jewels. By the time I was 6-years-old I was attending the after school program. In the summer I went to day camp there. When I was 11-years-old my mother enrolled me in Vacation Bible School, this time the camp was run directly through Bramalea Baptist Church (where Precious Jewels was located). While attending one of the sessions, I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. At the time, I didn't quite understand what I had done. The leaders at the VBS were amazing, and encouraged me in my faith for the rest of the summer. I started to slowly understand the decision I had made, and recognized that it would impact my life. I even shared my testimony one morning at church, in front of over 500 people.
[my best friend Ashley and I while working at camp]
For the first few years of my newfound faith, I was on fire for Christ. I was baptized at age 12. I participated in a servant leadership group one summer. I worked at various VBS and camps as a leader. I shared my testimony in front of large crowds numerous times. I was unapologetic in sharing my faith with my friends and family. At school I was a bit of an outcast, but all of the children would approach me privately for prayer or advice. I was a Jesus Freak.
When I entered High School I slowly drifted from the church. I stopped reading my Bible. Serious sin entered my life. By Grade 10, I was living for myself. I would feel God nudging at my heart, but I would ignore his nudging, and slowly the Holy Spirit was nearly quenched from my life.
Throughout high school I tried to find my way back to God. I would pray at times, but my efforts were all based upon what I could do for God. I wanted to change my behaviour. But, I never surrendered my sin, or humbled myself before God. I wanted to do everything on my own.
By first year university my life had taken a toll for the worse. My sin was grave. I couldn't face myself, and I was so embarrassed and ashamed of who I had become. I started to attend Campus for Christ meetings, and even became connected in a Discipleship Group. I went through weeks where I would say that I was committed to God, but my private actions and sin would completely contradict my faith. For the first two years of university I danced dangerously between faith and sin. I didn't know what I wanted, and I wasn't loving God with all of my heart and soul.
Finally, one day I realized that I could no longer live with such sin and shame. The Lord completely humbled me, and revealed the depth of my sin to me. Slowly, I began to seek the Lord in all things. I started praying, reading the Bible, attending church, and spending more time with Christian friends. I was so hungry and thirsty for the Lord. He filled my cup each day. I fell back in love with the God of my youth. I started reading my old journal entries from childhood, and yearning for that same commitment and desire for God.
A few months after my heart changed, the Lord introduced me to a wonderful man named Daniel. We started studying the word together. We both fell deeper in love with the Lord. During this process, we both switched our majors to Religion and Theology at university. The Lord connected us through our love for Christ. We fell in love with each other, and two years after meeting we were married.
Today, I just long to serve my God. I fail every day, but I also grow in my love for Him, and my passion to be led by Jesus. My husband is studying to be a Youth Pastor, and we are both serving at a church plant in Niagara. Each day I am thankful that the Lord saved me. I look at the child that I used to be, and I am glad that the Lord captured my heart at such a young age. I pray for children one day that love the Lord like I did at a preteen. I also pray that I will be there for them to encourage them to press on when they are tempted like I was as a teenager. The lust of this world is enticing, but it is also destructive. Lust nearly destroyed me, but thankfully the Lord never let me go. He was always there, loving me, waiting for me to return home.