I grew up in a family where going to church was required by my parents. With that being said, religion was a family thing and not a result of my personal convictions. I felt religion was being forced on me throughout my life. When I graduated from high school, I was excited to separate from my religious background and experience some independence. During my first year of college, I got into an accident where I suffered lacerations to both of my arms. I was quickly sent to surgery and had to recover in the ICU for months. I resigned from my old college in New York and came back home to Connecticut to spend time with my family while healing.
I transferred to the University of Tampa the next fall semester. I had the mind set of YOLO, “you only live once.” I went to parties and clubs to get that YOLO experience. My grades started to drop as I pursued the party lifestyle. One day during the semester, I was stopped by a campus minister and a student from Cornerstone. They invited me to a group Bible study and asked if I was interested in meeting up to do an individual Bible study, too. The semester ended and I only went to two Bible studies. I went home over winter break and reconnected with my brother. He noticed my selfish behavior and told me plainly that I had changed for the worse.
I thought about it and realized my heart was selfish. It became clear to me how I was separate from the Lord. I asked my brother how I could change and he said you have to seek God. I knew that I had to completely change my lifestyle while at UT the next semester. The only person I knew in Tampa who could lead me to God so that I could have lasting change was the campus minister from Cornerstone that I met in the fall. We met up and I gave my life to Christ. At that moment, I was born again and I completely changed. I got baptized, made new friends who were following God, and I became a member of Cornerstone. I am even helping to share the Gospel with my peers at the University of Tampa.