Sarahgrace is a high school student who went to Puerto Rico this summer to serve with the Adventures Ambassador program.  This is her personal story on finding more than she ever expected.

Puerto Rico. What can I say?

Going into this, all I wanted was to serve, and if I got something out of it, great.  But you see, God had greater plans; He always does.  The whole time I was trying really hard to make it not about me and so on and so forth.  I unfocused it so much from myself that I lost the point of it all somewhere along the way.  While I went on this trip to serve, and did so, God also had plans to change my heart, and to teach me about His love and a little about myself.


I looked at a “life-changing” experience as a bad thing.  But God gave me an opportunity to bring His love to Puerto Rico, and doing so, it’s inevitable you will be changed.

God changed my heart.  I’m still the same sinner, but God showed me that my sin, is not who I am; that my identity is in Christ; and the Lord, He sees me as pure.


Before living in Puerto Rico, I had never experienced God on a personal level and I never had truly heard his voice, mostly because I never took the time to listen.  I never thought of myself as woman of God, but it was something I yearned for.  When people gave me true compliments about my personality in Christ, I found myself having trouble believing them.  I held myself to a standard of perfection I thought I had to live up to.  I don’t know where it came from, but it was there and I just never saw it.  I constantly beat myself up for making mistakes.  I would say to myself “C’mon, you’re better than that.  What are you doing?  You’re so stupid.  You’ll never be good enough.”  And I let myself believe those thoughts and I didn’t even know it.

In Puerto Rico, I longed to do what God wanted me to do.  I asked Him to show me how He wanted to use me.  And I really hope that I was blessed people because that was what I went to do.  Because I believed that there is more to life than sitting around going through the motions, getting good grades in school, and being lazy.  I went on a mission, looking for the “more” in life.  That “more” always has been, and always will be a constant joy.  It’s something indescribable because it comes from the Holy Spirit.

From puertorico.myadventures.orgI was inspired these past two weeks by the community and by Jesus.  I was taught and I learned.  I was loved and loved and loved some more.  And finally, on the last night in the hotel with my sisters I was able to let go of the expectations that I held for myself.  And walls broke.  I was unchained.  And I feel free.  My struggles have not disappeared but I have given them to Abba Father.

I will never be perfect, and I don’t why I thought I had to be, or why I thought it was possible.  But that doesn’t matter.  Because now I can try and look at myself, free from my insecurities.  And I can try to see myself, the way God sees me.

I finally realized that God has redeemed me.  He doesn’t see me as useless, sinful, dirty, and ugly.  No!  He sees me as able, pure, holy, and beautiful.  And while sin is a part of me as a human and always will be, it does not define me.  Because I am forgiven, forever.  And so are you.  You can be.  Just repent, and leave your sin behind you.  And God will give you a gift.  He will show you His mercy and you can be filled with the Holy Spirit.  What a gift.  And it will fill you with unimaginable joy.

Now, I’m going to leave room for God in my life.  I won’t shut Him out.  Rather than running to earthly things, I can run to God, and know that literally no matter what He will be there.  And He will love me and accept me.  And nothing else can matter, because He is so big.  You just have to let go and let God.

His work has only begun in me.  And I’m excited to see what my Heavenly Father will do, now that He has opened my heart to it.  I may be broken, but God doesn’t work with perfect.


Water day on our last morning with all of the local youth!