Stories of us: Larissa
I grew up going to a Christian school, competing at a national level in many sports. Running was more a side hobby growing up and it wasn't until my first marathon at 17 and then my first 100km race at 19 (fainting at the end!) that I started getting hooked. For many years my running became about ticking off a series of records and achievements that never truly quenched my thirst.
When I was 12 I was given a Bible and I wrote: “I love God” on the cover. I’m not sure what motivated me. Then I watched a close school friend became a Christian. When I was 21 I made a New Year’s resolution: “I believe but I want to know why”. I started working at Treasury and made a friend who told me she was a Christian. I asked if she could help me with my resolution. We began reading the Bible together.
The penny dropped for me 4 months later. I was 16 hours into a 24-hour race. I found myself thanking God for getting me through a race that my physio had said I had very little chance of running because of injury. So, I had realised I wasn’t in control. And I also thanked Jesus for dying on the cross for me. Up until then the crucifixion was a removed historical fact that had no impact on me personally.
I’m passionate about running but I’m also passionate about sharing God's love and this wonderful joy my eyes were opened to that year I came to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I think there are amazing opportunities in any community setting to reach out to others with the good news of Jesus. The only Christian I had in my life when I was searching for answers was the friend I made at NSW Treasury.
I now work for a large financial services firm. I’m part of a workplace prayer group. Through this group I was introduced to City Bible Forum. City Bible Forum is a great resource for us and truly inspiring with its vision for sharing God's love through the workplace, working with others by practically praying with and for them. They’ve helped us think through the next stage for our group. I can see how this is already giving us a renewed energy and purpose.
I have found my really strong purpose. When I’m running, I run for God. When I’m working, I work for Him too. I want others to find the same really strong purpose I have found in knowing the one true God who sacrificed his Son for us.
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