Chase Sandberg - Eastern New Mexico University

Ever since I was a little kid, being a Christian was always something I knew that I was. I knew the story of how God sent his one and only son to die on the cross for my sins and that all I had to do was accept Jesus into my heart. Growing up I was well educated on the stories of the bible and how God was powerful and mighty. As a youngster, every time I read or heard about a character in the bible messing up I would say, “Wow! How stupid do you have to be to disobey God?” The older I got I began to understand that always obeying the Lord was not as easy as my childlike mindset originally thought it to be. I quickly became complacent in my faith and walk with Christ. I took satisfaction in the fact that people knew me as a Christian and regular church attendee. The only times that I would actively pursue my relationship with Him was the occasional FCA meeting or team bible study. I thought that was enough for people to see me attending these events. I would even go so far as to bring my bible on road trips during the season. However, in all honesty, most of the time I never even unpacked the book from my suitcase.

My time as a baseball player in Florida came to an end suddenly after my sophomore season at SCF. The only opportunity I had to play was going all the way out to Portales, New Mexico to enroll at Eastern New Mexico University. I had no idea why I said yes to this opportunity but God knew all along. My faith was put to the test immediately being away from my family and the familiar faces of my hometown in Bradenton, Florida. There was nobody there to say “hey lets go to church” or “lets go to bible study tonight”. I began to accept the fact that my worth as a Christian was just enduring this life I was living and sometimes getting bold enough to post a nice, safe, popular bible verse to my Twitter or Facebook and then get my joy from the likes and comments it would receive. I realize now that life is not just meant to be endured, but God intends for his children to enjoy life at its fullest. And the real joy that is in Jesus is no comparison to anything else we can do ourselves.

God showed me through some events in my life that He was all that I had left. I was left broken and alone over 1600 miles away from my comfort zone in Florida. I saw the direction my life was headed and had a choice to make. I chose to surrender my life. Since before I could even remember I had considered myself a Christian, but on January 22, 2015 I got on my knees at the side of my twin bed and gave EVERYTHING up to Christ. I had to travel 26 hours away from home to really discover who God is and that being a Christian means having a personal relationship that you work on continuously. From that moment on I have surrendered myself everyday and picked up the cross to follow Him (Luke 9:23). The evidence of His presence continues to surround me, and my witness to God’s word is something that I am unashamed of to share (Romans 1:16). ONE ONE SIX! HIS GLORY ALONE.

Chase Sandberg