But over the years, the pieces of this puzzle of Christianity began fitting into place as my faith grew. We had moved to Liberia when I was ten but had periodic furloughs to the States. One of those breaks was during my freshman year of high school. I went to a Christian high school, but it was a pretty big culture shock for me. Many of the kids cussed and talked about sleeping around. I couldn’t understand why they were like this if they claimed to be Christians. It was heartbreaking that they seemed to confess Christ with their mouth, but not portray Him with their actions. I didn’t want to live that way.
We returned to Africa, but when I was 16 there was a massive coup and we had to evacuate with literally the clothes on our back. We were stripped of everything that was home to us. I would often tell people we were going back, but one day my father sat me down and said, “There is nothing there. We can’t go back.”
That was a very hard year for me. I felt like I had lost everything. I didn’t know anyone. And I was struggling with hormones and emotions like many teenagers. But the Lord had not left me alone. One day as I sat at lunch with yet another stranger, God spoke to me and said, “Make me Lord. Trust me with your life. These circumstances have been allowed by me and are part of the plan for your life. Wherever I put you, I want you to bloom and give off a beautiful fragrance. Don’t pout or be upset—make the most of wherever you are because I have a purpose for where I placed you.”
On that day, Christ became more than Savior. He became Lord of my life.
Mindy Manuel writes from the Pacific Northwest.
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