Photo: Cole Wredt (left) and Chris Wredt (Right)
I remember a time when I was really struggling with my faith and relationship with Jesus. I couldn’t find or feel that connection I’d see everyone else was having around me with him, and I so desperately craved. I remember my prayers being something along the lines of “Lord, help me to know you and build a better relationship with you.” I’d say these prayers almost hopelessly because I never got that whole heart feeling of the Holy Spirit working in me.
I’ve always known about Jesus and would pray from time to time for my meals and random blessing when something went my way, and I was happy. I never really pursued Jesus until about 2-3 years ago when I met Tyler Mass, Logan, and Aubre Powers. That’s when I joined a City Group and started to take my relationship more seriously.
My life still consisted of ups and downs like everyone else’s. I’d work hard, pay my bills, live life, and just take it day by day. I’d go to church some Sundays and make City Group now and then and make the excuses of “work has me busy,” “I’ll go next Sunday,” “I’m tired,” and so on. There are always a million reasons not to do something. Then I’d question why my relationship with Jesus wasn’t where I wanted it to be! Go figure! I’d also get lost in the ways of the world with things like clothes, status, money, and other things! Well, let me tell you….. that all changed in a matter of what felt like 2 seconds.
I started having back pain which is something that any Laborer deals with, and kind of just pushes off like, “Oh, it’s nothing; I’ll be okay; it’s just from working.” But it got worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t do things for myself, such as sleep, sit, stand, and walk for long periods of time. So I finally decided I should get it checked out. I got some scans done and other tests someone my age usually never dories about. Then the results finally came in. That’s when my world felt like it stopped spinning.
When the doctor said, “Your results came back,” I knew something wasn’t right just by the concerning look on his face. He continued by telling me, “You have a tumor in your Spine (L4) with lesions in your L1. It’s pressing against your spinal cord.” Not knowing anything, I paused for a second and said, “Okay. What does that mean? What do I do?” He said, “It’s cancer, and you need to be admitted as soon as possible.”
Right there, at that moment, I felt something in my heart. Something that took over my whole body, soul, and mind. Something so surreal, pure, and strong. It felt like I had left the room and gone to the most beautiful place my mind could create! I FELT JESUS! It was for a split second, but it also felt like forever! It was amazing! Eventually, I snapped back into reality to respond to the doctor and said, “Okay. Let’s do this.”
From there, I was admitted. There were still a lot of unknowns, such as the type of cancer and whatnot. My fiancé, father, and friends/family were all concerned and scared. I understood their fear because I remember how I felt when my father was diagnosed. They did a spinal biopsy and came to the conclusion it’s a rare cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. Aggressive but treatable. The treatment is very hardcore chemotherapy and is not an easy fight by any means, and they couldn’t stress that enough to me. My whole life that I knew had changed.
But let me remind you, I used to pray for a better relationship with Jesus, and when I got in that hospital and got all the news of how hard it was going to be and what to expect, somehow, my relationship with Jesus flourished. I knew even this was God’s plan. I instantly knew He would grow me through these trials, and my relationship with Him that I so desperately wanted would be stronger. It felt as if he spoke it directly into my mind and took away all my fear and concerns. Any bit of hopelessness I had was gone. I felt Jesus in me! In my soul! I had peace in my heart and mind! Just like or even better than I had been praying for! It felt as if he told me right to my face, “Let’s build this relationship; follow Me through this. Walk by faith, and I will deliver you!”
Since then, I have been waking up with so much peace, love, and grace in my heart. I wake up ready to find new ways to glorify Jesus, chase him, and live in a manner worthy of the call He’s placed on me. I feel renewed! My whole relationship with him is completely different now, from the way I pray to how I read my Bible with a new passion for wanting to understand! When I pray, it feels as if he’s right in front of me, having a conversation with me, and it’s so refreshing! I ask God every day to show me new ways to disciple and talk about him, so someone else can experience this!
I can’t wait to see where he takes me and whose hearts he’ll lead me to touch. I hope I can continue to use my story to bring people to Jesus and glorify Him all the rest of my days!