Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.          Proverbs 3:5

December 6, 2012. That’s the day I committed myself to the Lord and made the decision to change my life in a way I never knew possible.

I grew up in a non- Christian home with two parents and a sister. My dad was catholic so we were the typical Easter Sunday family until it became impossible with athletics. When I was in 8th grade, I went to a camp where I met Robin Ahrberg, a 4-year letter winner for softball at FSU.  We eventually got to the point where she was my hitting instructor.  She came into college not being a Christian but within her first year and a half, she was saved. At the time, I thought it was weird and thought she was joining some sort of cult, but we kept the friendship we had.

Fast-forward about 5 years to my freshman year of college. I signed to play softball at Georgia Tech and major in some sort of engineering field. I came into college ready for the parties and the freedom. Nowhere in the back of my head did I believe I would be apart of anything religious. One of my roommates and teammates, Caroline Hilton, was a new Christian. For about a month she would ask every Thursday if I would go to Bible Study at CCF, Christian Campus Fellowship.  I kept blowing her off and really was just annoyed she kept asking.  I finally went just so she would stop asking me. I found that I really enjoyed the singing although I didn’t know what the words actually met. I went every week for about a month because of the atmosphere and community and went to Midtown church on Sunday, but I still went out every weekend. I eventually stopped going for some reason until the spring semester. Chris House, Caroline, and another roommate Elaina bought me a great study bible that Christmas, but I never really opened it. That spring I started really listening to the word and was finding out who God really was and what it means to live a Godly life. When my relationship of almost three years ended, I found comfort in the people at CCF and in the comfort of God. I still wasn’t living the life of a Christian and I had the urge to go out every weekend. By the time the summer rolled around, I went to church a few times with Robin or alone, but that didn’t last long. I began on the opposite path again; I didn’t go to church again all summer and my bible was untouched. Eventually school started back up and I continued going to CCF and also 925 – mostly for the social aspects. As the semester went on, family problems erupted and I turned straight to God because I wasn’t comfortable talking to anyone else about personal problems. In November of 2012, about 7 teammates and me went on the Panama City Beach Retreat with CCF. At this point Caroline had graduated and was an intern along with about 14 other people at CCF. I was having a great time, meeting new people, playing on the beach, and worshipping Jesus with my team. That Saturday night, Carline gave her testimony and when she ended with her part on redemption and being redeemed, I felt a feeling that was too real to even explain. I reflected on my struggles - current and past - and was able to see how God was working in them. I realized that regardless of every sin I’ve ever committed, He wants me even more because of it. At that moment I have never felt something so prevalent and real and it’s a feeling I want to live with forever. At that point I committed myself to the Lord by baptism December 6, 2012 in a freezing cold lake in Atlanta.

The months after that were more rewarding than any other time in my life. I was a better teammate, friend and player because I wasn’t worried about worldly successes or failures, but about the bigger prize at the end. However, being in the Kingdom of God doesn’t exempt you from trials.  The summer of 2013 was the hardest time in my life to this point. My parents were going through a separation, my mom was moving to Texas for a new job, and I felt so lost and alone. By the time their divorce was settled, I wasn’t doing everything the Godly way. I was making decisions based on other people and based on what I was going through – not the way God had intended. Because I didn’t want to talk to many people about it, I had no choice but to turn to God. He really made everything so much easier and while a lot of my family never understood why I took this route of becoming a Christian, it was something I wanted to ground myself in and stay committed to because I know the feeling it gives me. It’s been just over a year since making a covenant with the Lord and I still have temptations and urges all the time. Every week when the temptations are magnified by the weekend, I think about the eternal prize and what the godly decision is. These decisions are made much easier being surrounded by the right people like Alysha Rudnik, House, Robin and Caroline.  And although I am in the middle of many of my trials still, I recognize and strive for the end goal. I realize that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that whatever I have been through or will face, He will take care of it. I’m in it for the eternal prize.

Caitlyn Coffey – Georgia Tech Softball (Junior)