A little over a year ago, a new friend (who is now my best friend) gave me a Shine Giving Key necklace for Christmas. At the time, I had no idea how much of an impact such a little necklace could have.
At the time she gave it to me, I was REALLY shy. I had just come into a new school, and knew virtually no one. I felt like I couldn't be myself, and felt so alone. But boy, did that change.
During the year that I had the necklace, my life changed so much. I joined a youth group and eventually developed a relationship with God that- quite literally- saved my life. I also discovered my love of public speaking, which is quite odd for a person with social anxiety.
Now, I'm on a leadership team at my church that helps kids like me feel welcome in our youth group. I also help lead a Christian club on my school campus, and co-lead a teen therapy group after school. A year and a half ago, I would have laughed if you had told me that I would be doing all of these things today. I could barely say two words in front of a group, let alone LEAD three of them.
I finally feel like I can be myself- I can shine.