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Freedom In Christ
By Vittoria Allen - July 18, 2017

April spent years of her life struggling with suicidal thoughts, drugs, abusive relationships and more. When she recommitted herself to God, she went on a journey of discovering the freedom He wanted her to experience and learning who He made her to be. This is her story. 

Galatians 5:1 “Stand therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” And in John 1:12 says “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

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I had recommitted my life about six years ago, after struggling with suicidal thoughts, drugs, abusive relationships, and other immoralities, but by His grace, He called me back home. God placed me in an amazing community of women that helped me learn who He is. I fell so much in love with Him and sought Him everywhere I could: through going to church every Sunday, classes, and ministries, leading a Bible study. I eventually began to feel like my walk with God was hitting a plateau. I wanted more of Him, but I believed a lie that this was it for me. I saw other people’s relationship with God as being superior to mine, and even though I knew God, I went to those I admired to hear from Him because in my mind, they had a better gage of what He was saying to me. I thought that I was never meant to do anything great for His Kingdom. I looked at them and thought, “Man, I wish I could have what they have! They’re so high up there with Him!” I was so entangled in that way of thinking, that when my close friends and family members were upset with me, I would feel sick to my stomach and immediately started trying to earn back their approval by doing things for them. I gave a lot of attention to making sure I didn’t say or do things that would cause people to be turned off by me or lose interest in having a relationship with me. It was exhausting!

BUT! That same group of women just happened to go through Rock School of Ministry, one by one. They, of course, would invite me to events and I went. I could see that God was doing work in all of them! They encouraged me to join, but I told myself, it wasn’t for me; that the greatness I see in them could never be a part of me too. After three long years of that, my response became, “If God calls me there, I’ll go.” And I could say this with no hesitation because my prayer all along had been, “God whatever you want from me, I’ll do.” And I never heard Him clearly say, “join Rock School of Ministry.”

Until one day I prayed that prayer, and He clearly told me, “It’s time.” I wanted to be sure, so I kept it a secret from everyone, and told God, “If this is what you want, I will know if something crazy and ridiculous happens and it all works out!” Long story short, I came up with every excuse, and God moved every time. It was so scary, but now that I’m here and I realize the scarier thing would have been if I didn’t come!

And it’s not this program in and of itself. It’s what God does! It’s time you set aside each day to be in His presence. It’s the week away each term to be separated from the rest of the world, just to be with Him. It’s learning who you He made you to be in Design Week, and having your identity spoken over you throughout the year. It’s the relationships and the whole community that genuinely care! But let’s just be real. I don’t want to paint the picture that everything magically turns picture perfect, because what family is without it’s flaws? I had the privilege of serving with my brothers and sisters, and at one point, I looked around and just acknowledged that God brings amazing things to fruition when we are willing to come together and let Him work in us!

Now I know I don’t have to care about what anyone thinks of me. It doesn’t matter that I’ve known God for more than 2/3 of my life and that I’ve been in ministry and served at big events at church. I don’t have to be enslaved to lies that I can’t do anything amazing for Him. I realize now that He does it all anyway, not me! Even if all I ever do is stay here in San Diego and be willing to make disciples, I get to help God equip people who may go all over the world to tend to orphans and widows and share the Gospel. I get to be a part of Him healing people’s hearts and restoring families. And when someone close to me told me a few months ago that I haven’t accomplished anything in my life and all they other abrasive things they said, I realized, last year that would have crushed me. I realized I know who I am in Christ now. Those comments no longer stung. They caused me to be even more loving. It didn’t cause me to change how I behave toward them anymore. Then I heard God say, “You love like me because you are mine.” I cannot tell you how free I felt!

I challenge you to stop believing the lies. God has more for you right now! He created you to be great because He is in you and HE is great! That there’s nothing like living in the freedom of knowing who you are in Christ.  If that’s you, please don’t wait any longer. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. 

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