Hi, my name is Olivia Hatcher. I am from Montgomery Alabama. I went to Alabama Christian Academy my whole life until I came to Faulkner University. I love sports, adventures, hanging out with my friends. I love Mexican and Japanese food. I have a sister, a mom, and a dad. I grew up going to church every Sunday and Wednesday. I grew up going on youth trips and going to church camp. I am what you call vanilla. Vanilla meaning plain, bland, and common. My story is very boring in my eyes.
A couple of years ago someone asked me what is your story? Not knowing what they meant, I was like “ummm I am from montg-” And then they interrupted me and said, “No, I mean how did you come to Christ?”
This question threw me off because I never really came to Christ… Christ was brought to me… by family, teachers, and friends. “I don’t have a story,” I thought.
Last year I was repping Faulkner at Gulf Coast Bible Camp and the theme of the week was “What is your Story?” And I thought, “Geez this question again… why it couldn’t be about faith or salvation or something that we as Christians talk about a lot?” Nope instead it was about this question… this question that I tried to avoid because I didn’t have a story. So that whole week I heard amazing heartfelt stories about how these people found Christ in the midst of so many terrible things.
I was brought up in the church and I had never had anything tragic happen to me so I felt like I could never reach anyone with my vanilla story… but man was I so wrong!
I had the privilege of working with Regency Church of Christ this summer and it was the most amazing experience of my life. These kids had the most amazing stories… they had some sad stories… some hilarious stories… but most of all they had the stories about how they came to Christ. I have countless teens in my youth group that wake up and take their younger siblings to church all by themselves. This amazed me because they have their own faith. They don’t have the faith of anyone else but themselves. These teens opened up to me and poured out their hearts to me and man it was amazing.
Having them tell me their stories really had me thinking… I need to figure out my story about how I came to Christ, so here it is:
Hi, my name is Olivia Hatcher and I grew up going to church my whole life. I got baptized when I was 12 at Gulf Coast Bible Camp by my dad. I thought I had my faith and God all figured out back then but I was way wrong. I just put on the face of a Christian and went to church and youth trips and acted like I had a faith of my own, but, in reality, it was my church’s and my parent’s faith. In high school I focused on two things … sports and boys. I didn’t care about growing closer to Christ because I thought I would have time later on in life to figure that out. I struggled very hard with self-worth and feeling valuable. Time and time again I would put my self-worth in guys and friends that would constantly let me down. I graduated high school and then went to Faulkner. I came to Faulkner and I learned that I struggle with anxiety. I felt lost and I felt like I didn’t have a purpose until one night I was at an all-time low and I prayed to God to use me. That’s all I said. Just to use me for His purpose. A couple of months down the road I was the devo chair for my club… I got to lead devotionals in my dorm… I got the job as the intern at a church in the summer and now I am the intern at University for the college group now. God has been putting countless opportunities in front of me to share his word. I figured out something this year that I am going to share with you guys. And trust me I don’t have anything figured out in my life… I am a hot mess. But seriously I figured out that If you ask God to use you and to mold you and to put opportunities to share your story and to share his amazing story then he will give you those opportunities time and time again. God wants to use you and he wants to use me all we have to do is just ask him.