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God Is in Control - Ava's Story

by Ava Toth

I have been in church for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a baptist church, but I was really little, so I don’t really remember much of what happened during a Sunday morning service. When I was four years old, I only knew some things about God based on the teachings heard on Sundays, and I remember praying with my mom and asking God to forgive me of my sins. After making that decision at such an early age, we moved to California, where we attended a really awesome church. At that church, I started actually understanding more fully the details woven within God’s story. 

Eventually, my family and I found our way to Greenville, SC, and I started attending student ministry here at Fellowship Greenville. In 2021, I was able to attend the FG Students Labor Day weekend retreat, known as EPIC*! The theme throughout the weekend was entitled “Encounter,”—based on stories in the gospels where different people had a big encounter with Jesus that changed their lives forever. During the last session of the retreat, the student pastor, Matt Densky, started talking about what it looked like to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus. He asked if anyone in the room had not had that kind of encounter with Jesus yet, and I raised my hand because even though I made a faith decision at such a young age, I wanted to reiterate my love for Jesus and make it real. After the session, I spoke with my small group about it and I realized that God had brought me to the EPIC retreat because he wanted me to let go of my anxiety and fully trust in him. From there, my decision also led me to get baptized at the NextGen Baptism Celebration!

Ever since we moved to Greenville in November of 2019, I’ve been really struggling with anxiety, and even more so when I started middle school. When I came home from the retreat and went to school the next day, I felt God’s peace over me, and my anxiety left me completely. God showed me that I didn’t have to worry or fear because he has everything under control. In my daily, morning devotionals, I came across this verse which really made me realize how mighty our God really is and that he’s always in control. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)

*Sponsor a student for the EPIC retreat by emailing!

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