Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Your Story: "A True Transformation"

I can't say enough about how blown away I am with the stories I've received. Thank you all for the honesty and vulnerability you've shown. Please keep them coming by emailing 

This next story proves that age is only a number. At 19, she is mature beyond her years. I couldn't have imagined looking at myself in the mirror at 19 and being so courageous, admitting my flaws, and more importantly, doing something about them.

A True Transformation:

I never thought being 18 years old would be so challenging…

 I came fresh out of high school at 17 years old feeling confident and prepared for my next step known as COLLEGE. That word always freaked me out in high school. I had absolutely no idea where I was going and what I wanted to do with my life. Yet somehow, through all this confusion, I felt ready. As hard as it was going to be, I was ready to leave beautiful Santa Barbara and head to another city to begin a new chapter in my life. 

By the time moving in rolled around, I was 18, and feeling more like an adult than ever before. Right off the bat, college absorbed every part of me. I was surrounded by people I wanted to impress and girls I felt I had to compare myself to. I was constantly worried about my image and trying to find my place in this orange county private school. My roommate suffered through an eating disorder and self-image issues, and took me down with her. I imitated her lifestyle choices because I was constantly comparing myself to her and feeling the pressure of the social scene. I got drunk for the first time in my life and felt totally ashamed. I felt like I was in a little box, being thrown around by people surrounding me and letting them shape who I was becoming. I was letting people take control of my decisions and letting boys control the way I felt about myself. 

Tennis was an ongoing struggle, trying my hardest to constantly be the best that I could be. My relationship with God was experiencing high’s and low’s. I went to church and joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but I just wasn’t walking with the Lord at this time. Fortunately, I found my best friend through all of this, and she was someone I could truly be myself around. We went through all of freshman tough times together and I can’t even tell you how many nights we would just cry over boys or whatever it was that was bothering us at the time. Yeah, I chose my college and made some decisions on my own, but freshman year was a year in which I let people influence my decisions.

Once freshmen year was over, I came home to the best friends and family a girl could ever ask for. I spent almost every day with my best friends, and they were the most memorable times of my life. They take me for who I am and accept my weird and crazy self. Soon, FCA camp rolled around, and being a leader to 8 high school girls forced me to grow in my relationship with God, helping these girls through their personal struggles. I felt God using me as an example to them and a teacher to them - something I’ve never had the opportunity of being. I grew so much in this week, and after recommitting myself to Christ at camp, I knew a better year was in my future. 

Sophomore year began and I could tell right away this year was going to be different. Over the summer at FCA camp, I met someone who changed my life, and is now such an amazing friend to me. She chose to transfer to Chapman and her boyfriend is the leader of FCA here on campus. I knew I wanted to become involved in the club more now that FCA had given so much to me over the summer. I immediately became a leader in FCA, continuously went to church, watched God answer my prayers, and take my life in a completely new direction. I'm at a point now where I'm confident, because I know that God has complete control and has a plan for me. He has absolutely transformed my life this past year, and I continuously watch Him work in wonderous ways in my life and those around me. He brought me the best support system, the best of friends, the best opportunity to teach others about Him, and most of all,  an indescribable relationship with Him that is growing everyday. I made a commitment that I will completely knock out all things in my life that steer me away from Him. This includes drinking, swearing, and participating in things that do not set a good example. 

I'm a leader on campus for FCA, and have a responsibility that reaches farther than just in club meetings. More importantly, I have a commitment to God in that I will completely give 100% of myself to Him, and follow Him in everything that I choose to do. Why would I ever do anything that went against Him after all He has done for me? I now focus on making sure that God is the center of everything in my life.  He truly does take care of you and stand by your side through everything. I'm always in awe of what He has blessed me with, and wish I could put it into words for you the love He brings.

What separates this year from last? It’s not that I'm a year older or because I’m no longer a freshman. The difference is my mindset! I'm no longer the insecure 18 year old who gives into pressure and the OC image. I'm no longer confused about what I’m meant to do on the Chapman campus. I'm no longer lost in my faith and alone. I'm no longer focused entirely on my looks and actions…

I AM 19 years old. I AM a leader. I AM a follower of Jesus Christ. I AM confident. I AM beautiful. I AM a best friend. I AM an athlete. And most importantly, I AM ME. 



Erica said...

This is so Amy. I love how you can just hear the words coming out of her mouth

Dayne Gingrich said...

You're right, Erica... you can definitely see AND feel the words. She's so honest and sincere, as she lives this new commitment!

Rettakat said...

"The difference is my mindset!"

Truer words were never spoken. What a great story... thank you for sharing it.


Dayne Gingrich said...

I highlighted that sentence because that's what it's all about... no matter what IT is!

This is why I created CYM, and this is my #1 goal (myself included). If we make our mindset the #1 priority... our lives have no choice but to change for the better.