Throwing out the clothes she now finds “too revealing”, deleting all the illegally downloaded music and movies on her laptop and making a personal choice to stay clear of the night clubs she once frequented, Tegan Willsher explains why she decided to turn her life around
A familiar face on the party scene, Tegan compulsively lied to her parents about what she was doing until a strange sense of heaviness prompted her to re-examine her life.
On Saturday nights you would find Tegan partying at the clubs and then Sunday mornings she sat in church dutifully with her family, a "double life" she says she maintained to appease her committed Christian parents.
"I behaved the 'Christian' way when I was at church or at home with my parents and acted very differently when I was around my friends," she admits today.
At only eight years old, Tegan initially wanted to serve Jesus Christ on a kid's camp but as she entered her teenage years she admits that she deliberately walked away from God and became self-focused.
"I lived a deceitful life in which I spent a lot of time with people who were a bad influence on me and I was a bad influence on them," she says.
"I developed bad habits, which I told myself were okay to do even though I knew they were not.
"This rebellion wasn't due to anger with God or my parents; I simply wanted to live my life by following my own rules without my parents finding out the truth about me."
After she turned 21, Tegan says she felt a growing burden of knowing that she was purposefully rebelling against God and her parents.
"I was miserable, as there was no meaning to my life, and I could see people from my church that lived truly joyful lives, which is something I really wanted for myself," she says.
"Although I believe God has always been involved in my life, it wasn't until this point in which I experienced Jesus speaking to me." Tegan says God revealed to her that she needed to confess all of her sins, accept His forgiveness and apologise to the family and friends she had hurt through her actions.
"In the middle of 2012, I did all of these things and re-dedicated my life to Christ," she says with a smile.
"I learnt that a relationship with Christ is about having faith in what He has already done for me by dying on the cross in my place – not about 'feeling' like a Christian."
The Bible verse that Tegan says significantly challenged her to radically change her way of living is from Romans chapter 6, verse 6, which says, "We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin."
She says, "From the moment I gave control of my life over to God, I have seen Him make many miraculous changes in me, which has completely shocked me."
"For example, I used to be a compulsive liar and I couldn't go a day without lying about something but now He has helped me to overcome it and it's not an issue for me anymore."
With a new appreciation for her parents and her university studies, Tegan sees the blessings in her life more clearly and says she wants to live in a way that honours God.
"I have also seen God mend broken relationships in my life, which I am grateful for.
"He has turned me into a brand new person; I thank Him every day for His unconditional love and continued work in my life."•