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From Comfort to Calling - Alice Bankson’s Story

Alice Bankson's Story

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home with loving, supportive parents. I asked Jesus into my heart in third grade but never searched for depth in my relationship with Him. I loved him and read my Bible, but He wasn't a defining say in my life.

Once I committed to having a meaningful quiet time every day instead of periodically, everything changed.”

When I started college, I did party a little bit with friends, but I never ran from Jesus or had any issues against Him. I just spent my time being busy with other things rather than deliberately pursuing a relationship with Him.

A Lackluster Enthusiasm

I didn't seek a church community until I visited NewSpring my sophomore year, where I felt compelled to attend an observation night at Fuse, the youth ministry. I was shocked by the sight of teenagers raising their hands in worship and responding to the invitation to receive Jesus as their Savior. Their passion for Jesus made me wonder about my own lackluster enthusiasm for Him. I'd grown up in church and generally made good choices in my life, wasn't that enough?

Something told me it wasn't, so although I didn't understand all that God was doing in me, I attended an ownership class and was baptized. When the time came to choose where to volunteer, the youth ministry was the only answer.

Serving Changed the Game

I started to lead a small group of middle school girls, and out of habit I encouraged them to read their Bibles, pray, and follow Jesus. But I could hardly tell them how to grow in their faith when I refused to do the same. Teenagers can sense hypocrisy miles away! If I claimed Jesus was my Lord and Savior, then I had to do everything I asked the girls to do.

Once I committed to having a meaningful quiet time every day instead of periodically, everything changed. Before, I would spend a couple of minutes half-heartedly reading my Bible to fulfill an obligation so I wouldn't feel guilty. But when I began focusing on our relationship rather than a to-do list, my quiet time became a conversation with just God and me, where I know He wants to hear what I have to tell Him.

I can talk to Him, pray bold prayers unlike ever before, and believe that He will answer them. I can tell Him what's going on and ask Him how to grow closer to Him. It’s so much easier to tell people about Jesus, now that I have a relationship with Him.

Out of the Comfort Zone

Before volunteering at Fuse, my Christian walk consisted of what was comfortable and convenient rather than pursuing Jesus with everything in me. That pursuit meant I had to stop hanging out with certain friends and make time with Jesus a priority rather than an afterthought. It took me a while to change my self-centered attitudes and make wise choices and behaviors a habit.

When I graduated from Clemson, I didn’t want to move back to Florence, but I know it's what God chose for me because that was when I really began to mature and live for Jesus 24/7.

As a Fuse volunteer, I have had some tough conversations with teenagers who are dealing with issues I've never had to face, and Jesus constantly stretches my comfort zone. But I love being used by Him to help young men and women overcome bad experiences and habits and step up to the calling God has on their lives to be more like Jesus. I see now that a close relationship with Jesus enables us to grow and know how to minister to others as we take the gospel to the world.

I will never take my relationship with Him for granted again. God has completely changed the focus and purpose of my life, and I cannot wait to see how He will use me in the future to continue sharing the Gospel and the love of Christ.

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