Heather's Story: Life in Constant Surrender
I thought it would only be fitting for the first story in this category on the blog to be my own so you lovely readers could get to know me a bit before getting to know some new friends! But, before I get into my story, I want to explain my heart for the idea "Savior Stories." Savior Stories are going to be stories of girls not too different from you who have given their lives to Christ. But, the goal will not just be to explain how that happened for each of them, but also highlight what God has taught them or done through them since then. Each girl's story will mainly focus on a specific topic, while including some general Q&A, as well. Without further ado, here's my story:
Name: Heather Galway
Where I am in life: A sophomore Youth Ministry major at Liberty University & learning to take this blogging and small business thing seriously
My passions & hobbies: worshipping Jesus, drinking iced lattes, laughing at myself, spending time with my boyfriend Caleb, exploring new places, hand-lettering & blogging (obviously)
Spiritual Gifts: Faith, Hospitality, Leadership
Favorite Bible Verse: Galatians 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
When & how I came to know Christ as my Savior: I grew up very involved in church with my family. I did all the stereo-typical Christian things, like VBS, children's choir, volunteering for anything and everything once I was old enough, and even going on mission trips. However, I did not truly understand why I was supposed to do all these right things outside of a distant desire to please God so I could get into heaven. I grew up learning a lot about God and the stories of the Bible, but I did not understand the gospel. And then I had a BUT GOD moment. (You'll see that phrase a lot on my site--it comes from Ephesians 2:1-10.) The summer after 9th grade, I went to a Student Life summer camp, and one night, Pastor Louie Giglio preached a message that God used to change my life. He told us that Christianity was not about doing all the right things and checking them off a list. It was about having a relationship with Jesus. And right then and there, I gave my life to Christ that night. I realized I had been doing everything for the wrong reasons, and after that, I began to fall in love with Jesus and learned what it meant to serve Him and the church out of a heart of love.
After I gave my life to Christ, what was the hardest struggle I went through & how did I overcome it: Definitely just trying to purge my life of "little sins." I say little sins in quotes because honestly, all sins are the same in God's eyes, and none of them can ever glorify Him. But by little sins in my life, I'm referring to gossip, judging others, and struggling to stay pure sexually. I definitely didn't have a sudden lightbulb moment when I gave my life to Christ where I did a 180 degree turn and never sinned again. It was a slow work of the Holy Spirit teaching me that I no longer have to live in my old sinful ways and Him helping me to make lasting life changes. And let me just tell y'all, the struggle is real. Satan likes to see us stumble. But, I finally got to a moment last year where I understood the truth in Romans 6 that says as believers, we are DEAD to sin and alive to God. God tells us we are no longer enslaved to the sin that once held us captive, and I realized that it was ultimately my choice whether I was going to keep "falling" back into the same sin or intentionally choose to walk in the freedom Christ gave me, and it was freedom I chose. Since learning that (seriously, go study Romans 6 if you haven't), I have still been tempted to sin in many areas of my life, but choosing not to do it has become so much easier.
What is one thing I feel like the Lord has laid on my heart to share with the Simple Pursuit Community: Live a life of constant surrender to the Lord. If there's one thing that has shaken up my life & made it 100x more joyful to live, it would be the fact that I am always open to doing whatever the Lord calls me to. I used to be very slow to act and logically-minded, but one thing the Lord has taught me is to live a life of spontaneity and whimsy. When the Holy Spirit prompts you to give money to the man on the street that your mom told you not to because it might be dangerous, do it. When God gives you a calling to go overseas & pursue full-time missions, say yes, even when the world looks at you like you're crazy. When God tells you to change your major even when you were "absolutely sure" you knew what you were going to be doing the rest of your life, surrender it to Him. I am a planner at heart, and I like to have a long-term life plan, but I'm pretty sure in the past three years, that plan has changed about 100 times. And it's normally because I go making a plan in my head, thinking, "oh that makes sense, I'm definitely going to do that," and then God clearly steers me in another direction towards His way better plan.
Ultimately, He has a plan for us and can see our future a whole lot clearer than we can, so why would we not lean in to what He has for us?
Living a life of surrender to the Lord seems risky, but it truly is living an abundant life. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus said that we are to follow Him, and he promises us that when we do, we experience what it really means to truly live. And I don't know about you, but an abundant life with Jesus by my side sounds like a pretty great way to live!
So, my question for you is, what area of your life do you need to surrender to the Lord?
Whatever it is, whether finances or fiancé, career or fear, I promise you, when you continually give it to God, he will take it & transform your life into something better than you could ever imagine.