I gave myself a moment to calm down. Then I made the strenuous hike upstairs.  I grasped the railing tightly to keep from collapsing. I felt so torn and confused.  I wanted my own life, and yet, I felt entrapped and manipulated by my roommate. Since the day we first met, I signed my death sentence.  I felt guilty for hanging out with other people.  I believed her lies that my family didn’t love me the way she did. I saw that she needed help, but she wasn’t willing to make any changes in her life.  The more I tried to help her, the sicker and weaker I became.

Within two years, I was like a walking skeleton. I had lost nearly 40 pounds, struggled with anger, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. I felt like my parents, God and my church were against me. I was alone.

As I lay there, trapped in my roommates arms, fear gripped my heart.  I know Mom is going to call anytime now.

Tick…tick…tick…

“I’m not going. Why should I?”  Why should I give up my life to attend some week-long seminar?  

4:30 a.m.…The phone rings….

“I don’t know, Mom. It won’t work. There’s no hope anyway.”  At least a decision hadn’t been made yet.  I still have time to get out of it.

I didn’t dare tell my mom that just the night before I had passed out due to lack of nutrition.

Throughout the evening, I tossed and turned, anticipating Mom’s call every few hours.  
 
Tick…tick…tick…6:30 a.m., Mom and Dad pull up to my house. There was no escape. As my roommate opened the door, I raced behind my door to hide.

“Don’t touch me.  Get your hands off of me.  I don’t want to go.” I thought for sure that my parents had come to take me away to a mental institution. 

Two hours later, I reluctantly stepped into the car convinced I was about to die. 

When we arrived at the church we walked in the door where we were greeted by friendly smiles and welcomes. I returned their friendly smiles with a scowl. The love caused me to cringe with shame. 

Throughout that week, I found a cozy corner in the church and sat there by myself.  I wasn’t interested in Jesus or people. I had reached a place of complete hopelessness.  I grudgingly attended the daily classes, but expected no positive results. By the fourth day, however, something started to shift.  It was a Thursday evening and everyone had gathered outside in preparation for the baptism.  I stood off to the side, trying to avoid my mom.  Then I felt this urge to step forward.  Should I go and be baptized?

“No, I’ve already been baptized.”  I took a few steps closer and then backed out. 
 
“I can’t do this.  Everyone will know.” I ignored the urge and stepped out of line. As I turned around, a lady clasp my hand in hers.

“Would you like to rededicate your life to Christ?”

I didn’t have time to think.  Before I knew what was happening I heard myself saying “I…I…Think so…”

“What are we waiting for?”

In jeans and t-shirt, I slowly walked to the pool and waited for my turn.  The urge to run was so strong. 

My turn came. I felt sick to my stomach. Nonetheless, I wobbled up the steps 
 
“It isn’t too late, you don’t have to do this” a voice whispered in my head.

I fought against fear and stepped into the tub focusing my eyes on the loving couple.  As the water washed over my face, I felt the Lord holding me tightly sending a smile across my face. Tears watered my eyes as the peace of God enveloped me.  I knew, for the first time, in over two years, that Jesus truly loved me and that He valued my life.
I came to this seminar with a death wish, but left with the chains broken off. I learned that there is nothing that I need to do to earn the Lord’s love.  He is willing to fight for me to the end and chase me until He earns my love and trust.