Name: Heather Gasser
Education: Master's degree in Social Work (MSW)
Occupation: Child and family therapist
Religion: Seventh-day Adventist. Out of the church for five years; rebaptized in 2000.
After college, I just stopped going to church, and my boyfriend David and I started doing whatever we wanted, whatever the subculture around us was saying would be fun and exciting.
Then a friend in graduate school invited me to study the Bible with her. I really understood the gospel for the first time and opened my heart up to Jesus. I saw I was living my life the wrong way. I worried my boyfriend wouldn't understand, but I asked God to work a miracle in his life too. A week later an Adventist colleague invited him to attend a Bible study, and the Holy Spirit began to change his heart along with mine. He ended up getting baptized while I got rebaptized, and we were married as soon as I was through school.
When I stop to think that I was raised in the Adventist church all my life and had godly, believing parents who read all the Bible stories to me, I still am perplexed how I could have gotten so far off track. Today those same Bible stories are precious to me.
The messages from the world are so powerful. They can really seduce you if you aren't well-grounded in God's Word. But in my experience life away from Jesus was not all that exciting. Actually, it was tedious and difficult and painful. I was struggling with depression and was a slave to destructive habits.
Now I have a peace and contentment that I never came close to when I was away from God.
Editor's note: Heather and her husband, David, are leaders at the Oasis Christian Center Adventist Church in Vancouver, Wash., and are excited to share their love for Jesus.