Shantel’s Story

I grew up in a family where Jesus Christ was in the center of our lives. I knew Jesus and loved Him.
However, my relationship with Jesus wasn’t as personal or as strong as it could have been. During my
first semester of college is where I really felt my relationship with Jesus Christ grow. The pressures of
living on my own, trying to make friends, a new job and keeping up with rigorous college courses took a
toll on my life. I was consumed with all things school and work and I thought I had no room for anything
else, including Jesus. I felt myself drifting away from that Jesus centered life that I had always known. I
knew that something needed to change but I didn’t know how it possibly could, my time was filled, I
didn’t have any room to fit Jesus in. There was a moment in the middle of that first semester when I hit
my breaking point and finally put down my books and prayed to be happy again. I felt that college had
sucked the joy out of my life, and I didn’t know where else to turn. During that prayer, I felt the
overwhelming love and presence of Jesus Christ. I realized that the joy I had been missing is the joy that
Jesus Christ brings, and I knew I needed to reprioritize my life, putting Jesus first. I then began actively
making time to have a relationship with Jesus, and slowly joy and happiness filled my life again. The
stress and anxiety I was feeling decreased and I had time for fun all while succeeding in my classes. His
love and His teachings are what brought true joy and happiness back into my life. It was this experience
that allowed me to see how important priorities are and how important a relationship with Jesus Christ
is. I know that if I continue to put Jesus first, I will feel more joy and love in my life. He always has His
hand stretched out towards us, we just have to make the time to reach out and grab it. I know if I
continually strive to make Jesus a priority, I will always have joy.