By Brittany Bennett
Life took a turn freshman year of high school after my family moved to Mesquite and I met a boy. Up until then, I had been a good kid. I “asked Jesus to come live in my heart” in Vacation Bible School when I was eight, made great grades, and stayed out of trouble. But then I gave this boy the most special thing I could give anyone—my virginity. It wasn’t long after that he broke up with me.
Friends (and even family) told me to get over it and move on, but I couldn’t move on so I thought I would save everyone the trouble of consoling me and worrying about me and just take my own life. At the age of fifteen I attempted suicide, not once, but twice.
Worldly Solutions Failed
I wish I could say it was in that moment I decided to start following Christ, but I didn’t. I continued to live a reckless lifestyle. Although I did well in high school and the first part of my college career, I still pursued a worldly lifestyle by choosing to do drugs, having life-sucking relationships with men, and partying.
Lost, doing poorly in school, and desperately needing out of the party scene, I decided I needed a break. So I enlisted in the Navy, where I really started to grow closer to Christ with the help of my petty officer. She repeatedly asked me if I trusted the Lord and every time I would reply, “Yes…but… [insert any excuse here].” She kindly pointed out that when you trust the Lord, there is no “but”—it’s simply “yes” or “no.”
Giving It All to God
Suddenly, I felt convicted to share one of the most devastating parts of my past—my suicide attempts—with the Navy. Despite the seven year gap since the occurrences, attempted suicide was a disqualifier and I was sent home. The day I returned home from Illinois, I prayed to God, “Okay, I get it. I’m not in control; You are. I’ll listen.” This was the moment I finally gave it all to God. I started going back to church, getting involved, serving and pursuing a relationship with Christ. But in all of this, something still didn’t feel right.
JP has said it countless times: “Change your playground and change your playmates.” I finally took his advice to heart and made more changes in my life, purging unhealthy relationships. Although I was making progress, I was living in isolation, which is not what God wants for us. Scripture says in Hebrews 10:24-25 that we should not neglect meeting together and encouraging one another, and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Getting in a community group has been, hands down, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. There have been several instances when we spend the entire meeting time resolving conflict and praying for one another because someone is struggling or hurting.
Saying “yes” to God hasn’t made for the easiest journey, but it is definitely worth it. Through community, I have been reminded of 1 Peter 4:8 which says “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” God’s grace is abounding; it is big enough to cover my attempts at suicide, drug abuse, sexual immorality, depressions, doubts, everything. He is bigger than you, bigger than me, bigger than this world, and He’s always got your back.