I was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, to a very loving mother and father, who taught me many things. They raised me to have standards for myself, and to do my best. My dad always told me I could do anything I wanted in life and be anything I wanted to be. I know they believed in me and did their very best, but there was always one thing missing, Jesus. At a young age my mom was privileged to be a stay at home mom, which gave me and my sister a lot of time to be together (I am sure that my mother went crazy sometimes). Though it was wonderful to be with mom, it seemed like we did not see my dad that much because he worked twelve hour shifts at Goodyear. I know he was there for us always, but “bringing home the bacon” was a priority.
Even from a young age I was a people pleaser. I remember being afraid that I would hurt others or cause my teachers to be disappointed in me. The people pleasing followed me into a life of rebellion through middle school and high school. I hid it well, sneaking around doing things that I knew would disappoint my parents or people I cared about. I became involved with guys, and because I was in the people pleasing business to somehow prove myself, promiscuity became my life. I would do what I wanted and keep it all a secret so no one would know, or so I thought. I was confronted one day in a way that I did not expect—God himself was calling me out.
I went with a friend to a church meeting for the first time that I can actually remember and conviction was heavy on my heart. I reluctantly decided I did not want to be the way I was and that I wanted to change. Looking back, it is as if I became a deer in hunting season, and the Devil had a huge shot gun and a bullet with my name on it, and I let him hit me. The bullet did not look like a small piece of metal; it looked like doubt, confusion and people pleasing. I remember trying to justify my actions by saying that it was not my fault I did all the things that I did. I told myself that I only messed around with guys so much because my dad worked plenty and I just wanted a man’s attention. I fell back to my old ways and even became worse than I was before I had met Jesus. I picked up drugs along the way, became more promiscuous, and I used my cheerleader status to cover it up. I was a mess, yet completely okay with my filth.
My love for pleasing people is what kept me in the church. I soon fell for a guy in the church that was actually going somewhere in life. It is only by God’s grace that he is still completely in love with Jesus and serves him as a youth pastor in Oklahoma. I am grateful that he pointed me in the right direction.
On June 9, 2010, I was at a youth camp. I was truly changed in that Tuner Falls Tabernacle, which was basically a metal roof, concrete flooring and wooden pews to accommodate about 700 people. This place was not fancy with amazing lights; I actually recall only about 10 of those garage lights that you use when working on a car to light up the place, but God can use anything. It was a new thing I encountered that day. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and changed forever. I literally let go of everything that I used to do. I basically lost all my friends because I did not do anything that they did any more. I spent all my free time at the church, and became a different person.
Soon after, I felt the Lord calling me into children’s ministry and to go to Bible college. I found a Bible college in the middle of a cornfield and God said, “That’s the one!” so I went. I graduated from Heartland Christian College in May of 2014 and have loved every minute of my life serving the College.
Currently I work at Heartland Christian Academy with elementary students and also in the daycare. I’m part of our church children’s ministry, GPS Kids (Growing Physically and Spiritually), and help with projection on our worship team. I find that God has blessed me beyond what I can imagine, not because of me, but because of mercy and grace. I know that He has given me such a heart for children, and for reaching out, and I know He has a plan to use me!
Chelsea’s love for people is evident by the children who are always surrounding her, and the opportunities she makes to share the love of God with people at the mall, in the grocery store, or while eating out. Chelsea plans to continue her education, and has enrolled at Central Christian College of the Bible for online classes.