A Saturday Story–Bree, VWC

Before coming to college I was pretty opposed to God. 
I came to Virginia Wesleyan College in the fall of 2012 and met so many angels; I heard someone say once, when God is loving on us He does it through people. I believe this in its entirety and am a colorful illustration of this phenomenon. I didn’t think the Christian community would ever accept me for who I had been or love me for my past or my current struggles. It was through Christ-like love shown by some beautiful women that I ended up at Cru’s winter conference, Radiate. I wasn’t really sure why I was there. It wasn’t until the second to last night during worship that something of indescribable beauty happened.  After three days of sermons about how we need to become restored in order to be restorers for Jesus we were invited to make a commitment to God– to do whatever He is urging us to. I grabbed my commitment card and followed suit with those around me by praying about the situation, asking for guidance and reassurance.  For some reason (I now know it was the unconditional love of God) I marked the box saying that I wanted to accept Jesus as my Savior.  In one whirlwind of a moment there was this small piece of paper staring at me from my lap proclaiming everything I had ever been uncomfortable with.  As I stood there, in the darkness of the room the background noise of mood setting music softened and became distant.  I felt this incredible warmth and completeness take over me.  Almost like a hug, but better.  It was so beautiful!  God was hugging me and telling me in the most Fatherly way that everything was going to be okay. And that He loves me.  And He always will.  How did He know that’s exactly what I needed?
Since this beautiful day I have grown even more in love with God. Every day I love him more and find beauty in his perfection. It’s hard to describe how much I love him.  Trusting him with every inch of my life is humbling.  He has given me a heart for His children all over the world- especially women in the Middle East. He is helping me love others selflessly and to trust him more and more.   
Thanks for reading my story!

Waiting (Meg)

Waiting is hard.
This summer in some of my classes we talked a lot about the concept of living in the tension between the “now” and the “not yet.” It wasn’t necessarily a new concept, but it’s one of those things that has stuck with me ever since that class. There’s this tension, this waiting, that we’re all essentially in.
As Christians, we live in the now – the post-resurrection world where Jesus has come and lived and died and risen again. So we are able to become members of His family, heirs to his throne. Our identity is now saint, not sinner. We live in the now.
And still, we also live in the not-yet. The world where sin still exists, where our hearts, while marked as Christ’s own forever by the seal of the Holy Spirit, are still also tainted by our previous sinful condition and the “leftovers” of our mess as we look towards what is to come. Our world is not perfect. We are not living sinless lives. Not yet, at least – not until we see Heaven in its glory and stand at the throne of God.
So we wrestle. We are Christians and yet we still sin. We want to do what is right, and yet our hearts are so pulled by the world, by our sin, by Satan.
And that tension – the now and the not-yet – we see that play out in so many aspects of our lives. This whole world lives between Jesus’ first and second comings. We, as a people, as a generation, live between the now (Jesus came) and the not-yet (He’s coming again).
It’s easy, then, to make a connection with the gospel and my life. The things I’m waiting for – things like where I’ll be this summer or where I’ll be next fall, things like when next steps in my life are happening or when I’ll fully report on campus – those things all can be met by God in the tension of the gospel.
He has set me here, where I am now, with a taste of what He’s bringing me to come, but has not yet allowed to be.
How then, do I see the gospel?
I see that there is hope! There is something beautiful to wait for! And yet, there is something here, and now, that is beautiful in and of itself. There is beauty in crying out to the Lord and saying, “I can’t do this alone!” and there is beauty in recognizing my own humanity of not being able to do it all. I am humbled because I am dependent.
Where does God meet me in this dependency?
He says, Meg, you are dependent. BUT I am worthy to depend on! I am worthy to trust! I am worthy to follow. Have you seen Me? Have you seen My Son? I led him to the Cross! He paid your penalty. He paid your debt! He died for YOU because I LOVE YOU. And death couldn’t hold Him down! He is ALIVE! He rose again, bringing abundant life to those who believe. You can trust that You will see sinless perfection one day. You will see Jesus face to face. Because I love you, you have HOPE to look towards.
That is the beauty of the gospel. Relationship with God. Experiencing His love. Knowing I can trust in Him, because He showed the ultimate sacrifice for me… because He loves me.
Jesus meets me here in the waiting.
I look to Him; He gives me life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
– Psalm 31:14