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The Sweetness of Redemption - Josh's Story

by Josh Groenhof

Growing up as a child, I knew of Jesus, but I didn’t truly know Him. I grew up in a Christian home where we attended church every Sunday, attended youth groups, and prayed together as a family. The examples set for me by my parents and other family members led me to live what I thought was a Christian life, but it wasn’t until college that my faith really began to grow. During this time, I began to feel a lot of pressure from the world. Getting good grades was more of a challenge, and the pressure of finding a career and being successful after school felt daunting. For the first time in my life, I began to deal with anxiety and the desire to control what was going on in my life and my future. It was also during this time that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was a real struggle for my family. When my mom got sick, it made me truly realize how little control I had over anything in life and how much I had been valuing my own comfort. Watching my parents’ faith in the Lord during such a difficult time led me to truly understand my need for Jesus, and I became a Christian after my freshman year of college. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

After that year, all the unknowns of college continued to cause stress and anxiety in my life. I struggled to find a job as graduation approached, and I ended up taking a position that moved me to Greenville. I trusted that God was in control of my circumstances, but I was suddenly stripped of all the comforts I had known. I was far from my family for the first time in my life, and I had to leave the Christian community I had come to know in college. I slowly started to drift from my walk with the Lord and chase things that I thought would bring me comfort. Before I knew it, I had hit what felt like rock bottom. 

Thankfully, God didn’t leave me there, and he began to stir the Holy Spirit within me. I knew that the life I was living wasn’t what He wanted for me, and I felt led to begin attending a church here in the Upstate. From then on, I started growing in my personal relationship with the Lord. I learned the power of prayer, the importance of Scripture, the sweetness of redemption, and the true comfort Jesus provides in all circumstances. 

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