1) Why follow Christ?
I follow Christ because in my darkest moment He showed up for me. I barely believed in God and didn't think much of Jesus at all. However, when I finally caved in and reached out, He grabbed ahold of me and changed my life from the inside out.
2) What does it mean to you to fully follow Christ?
Christ gave up everything for me, and in return, I will give up everything for him. That's not to say that it isn't easy or uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, because there are times when it's one or all those things. But if Jesus can come down from Heaven and endured 33 years of temptations and hardships, then I can try to follow in His steps. I doubt if those things were easy or comfortable for Him. Also, being betrayed and abandoned by friends, being publicly humiliated and beaten, and dying on a cross sounds incredibly painful.
If Christ can go through all of this for me, then I will follow in His footsteps and do the same.
3) What was your life like before and after Christ and would you go back? Why or why not?
First of all, I can never go back.
Knowing Christ has changed me in such a way that if I tried to live the way that I used to, I wouldn't be able to knowingly sin the same way. The things I used to seek comfort in are so removed from me, that the thought of going back disgusts me. Before Christ, I was painfully insecure, deeply depressed, and was completely and utterly lost. I lacked self-motivation and was afraid of voicing my distress because I felt like my hurt was not hurt enough, and I didn't want to sound like I was complaining. I was in a toxic relationship and didn't understand that setting boundaries for myself and keeping commitments to myself was a form of self-love. I got to a point in my life where I begged a God I barely believed in to show Himself to me because, otherwise, I wasn't going to make it. Either I was going to commit suicide or commit murder because I couldn't see another way out. I felt trapped and the walls felt like they were closing in.
At the time, I was allowing my thoughts to wander into darker and darker places. God heard me and God answered me. Not in a voice but with His presence. I felt like a had received a warm hug full of love and encouragement. I still didn't know what to believe, but it gave me enough strength to keep going. Over the course of the next eight or so months, God aligned my path to cross with the right people, to see the right videos to learn about the character of God and the importance of Jesus, and He also built up my confidence and self-worth. God knew that I wasn't in the right state to receive love, so He gently took His time to show me that I deserved to be loved. Once I learned to value myself, I heard God whisper "celibacy" in my heart, and eventually that led to me ending my relationship.
Me ending my relationship was my first step in trusting God and on that same day, curled into a fetal position and sobbing my eyes out on the floor, I gave my life to Jesus. My life after choosing Christ is work, continuous work. But it is also love and peace and healing and joy and soooo many other good things. It is the taste of fresh air after being surrounded in smoke. It is like falling onto the perfect mattress with your head hitting the pillow just right. It is so amazing that I do not have the ink or the pages or the words or the time to write it all down. I never thought that one day I would be able to look in a mirror and call myself beautiful. I never thought I would be able to be at peace with only myself in a quiet room. But the God I serve has changed me. Jesus Christ died for me because He felt I was valuable, He felt I was worthy of being loved. For years, He whispered in my spirit that there was more for me, and I thank Him with my life that He never stopped reaching for me. I thank Him that He did it for so long without ceasing. The day I finally listened was the day I cried out, and that was the moment everything changed for me.
4) Why is important to know your 'Why' and how does that help you?
If you forget your 'why' then you are more likely to start forgetting all the good things the Lord has done for you. Once you forget the good things, you'll start to question who God is with a hardness of heart. Now, it's not a bad thing to question who God is with an open and earnest heart; that gives Him the opportunity to reveal Himself to you. But once your heart turns hard, you're more likely to turn and walk away from God. That's not to say that He won't call you, but that you may not be in place where you can hear Him. It's important to know your 'why' because if you forget, it becomes easier to go astray and become lost.
5) Why do you feel it's important for others to know about your religion?
There is a God who loves and care for you so much that He came down from Heaven and died a sinner's death, so that you wouldn't have to. He wants to be your father, your friend, and to build a relationship with you so that He can help you through life in a way that He knows best. He wants to help you to become the best version of yourself, because He always want more for you even when you don't feel like you deserve more. God loves you, Christ died for you, and Holy Spirit wants to help guide you. You don't even need to fully believe for Him to respond. All you need to do is ask with an open and earnest heart, "God, if you are real then I need you to show yourself to me." It's just that simple. There is no request too great or too small for the God that I serve.