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I am a junior at the U studying health and botanical medicine. My hometown is just north of Milwaukee, WI where I grew up with loving parents and four incredible older brothers. My little sister, who none of us ever met, is up in heaven already. We were homeschooled, and our “PhyEd program” was swimming. I kept it up, and plan, Lord willing, to continue swimming during my senior year as a Golden Gopher. Some of my deepest desires are to have the faith that Jesus had for miracles, and especially the fullness of the Spirit to love people as He did. I want to live out my faith in front of my teammates, to be genuine and show them who Jesus is. I received a word from another Christian who didn’t know anything about me except that I was a swimmer. He told me that I would be ministering to young women who were on my heart. I know that as I walk in faith that God has made me new, put His heart in me and given me His Spirit, I will minister to the women on my team.
My testimony shows God longing for a deeper relationship with His child. I can’t describe how grateful I am that God has continued to put up with me and pursue me all these years! I grew up believing that Jesus died to pay for my sins, rose to life again and offers a redeemed life. However, God brought greater awareness of Him, particularly through my Bible study leader who showed me how worthy of my life a loving God really is. I have often doubted His forgiveness because I have seen my repeated mistakes, but He continually reminds me not to worry about fixing myself. I have struggled with this for almost five years, and He has been faithful the whole time. He is challenging me to trust that His Spirit (that He gives when we change our mind about sin and believe in His forgiveness), is what makes me righteous and that I cannot be made perfect unless I trust Him to do it in me! Over and over I have doubted this, but He has not stopped reminding me of the truth of it through the Bible! He has been pursuing me through all of the times I doubted, cried and worried that He might not accept me.
Currently, I am finishing my major and fulfilling the prerequisites for a nursing program. I am enrolled full time in school, and my swimming commitments add up to about 26 hours/week when we don’t have competitions, which often take more time. My busy schedule makes me appreciate the diversity of schedules of those that live at KPA. Although a lot of us are in college, some people actually have time to plan activities, like prayer and worship times and group outings (and bake cookies ☺) that we can all join.
It is also wonderful to have people from different backgrounds come together and encourage one another on a daily basis. This wasn’t my biggest focus when I moved to KPA, but once I moved here, I found a home filled with love and encouragement. One of my favorite times every week was our Sunday night worship and prayer time. I was able to put everything at the feet of Jesus and be refreshed when I was struggling. Living in a Christian community has had a huge impact on me, and I realize how important it is to encourage and support others. Knowing God and being known by Him is the most essential thing in life, and helping others with that is vital.
My biggest challenge of living in the community was during my first year at KPA. I was struggling spiritually and wanted a place to be alone with God and cry, but I was in a double room, limiting the privacy I could have. Now I realize I could ask to pray in someone else’s room for an hour, and my schedule is different enough from my roommate’s that I have plenty of time to be alone. One other comment I have is the importance of being un-offendable. I have seen people in the house become bothered by the tendencies or sense of humor of others, and it causes division for a short time. We have to learn to love people unconditionally realizing that they are still growing in the knowledge of God’s love.