On June 22nd, I began to tell my story. It was a long story, so I promised to be back "tomorrow" with Part Two. Oops. Here we are 10 months later, and I'm finally back to it.
(You can click here for Part One if you missed it.)
Here's where I left off:
So, yes, my childhood testimony is my parents' story, but as time has gone on, I've seen how God has been faithful to give me my own story, a story that isn't my mom and dad's story, but Becky's story...
There are many chapters in "Becky's Story," so for this post, I'm focusing on a memory from my college years.
College was definitely a time of self-discovery. Throughout my teen years, my identity was wrapped up in being a "good" girl. I had perfect grades, I lived to please my parents and teachers, and I took pride in being a Christian. My support system was my youth group and other Christian friends. I had never even been to a "real" party.
I arrived at Washington State University one week early for orientation week. I got "oriented" all right. : ) As my parents drove away, leaving me outside the dorm, I stepped into a new and unfamiliar world. That first week was a constant party. Imagine three towers of 13 floors each, full of co-eds away from home for the first time, and no classes to go to for a week.
It was insane- booze, drugs, lots of puking. My roommate decorated her side of the room black, replaced her study lamp bulb with a black light, smoked pot laced with opium, and played Nine Inch Nails on her stereo over and over and over again.
I didn't know who to be in this new world. I didn't know who I wanted to be. I knew I didn't want to be my roommate! Ha Ha! I tried hard to find my place. Maybe this was what it meant to be "adult" and I had just been too sheltered to realize it. Maybe I was tired of being a goody-goody. Maybe I needed to live a little.
So I started living a little. I was living a double life, hanging out with my believing friends and doing some partying, too. I didn't give up on being a Christian, I just wanted to know what life was like out there.
I went to WSU for a year, tried Western Washington University for a year, and then transferred AGAIN the following year. I was a nomad. I'm thankful my parents just let me "find" myself without complaining.
I landed in a small Christian college which was a good place to land. It was refreshing and sweet to be back in a familiar world of Christian kids with similar values. I love that school. BUT I began to be troubled by the way the athletes were being treated. It seemed like they were idolized on the basketball court, and then no one knew what to do with them after that because they were "in to things" that were "sinful."
"Well, duh," I thought. They weren't there for the "quality Christian education." They were there for the FREE education.
I decided it was my mission to befriend the basketball players (didn't hurt that I had a crush on one of them...or maybe two...or three???) I was going to show them what a non-judgmental Christian was all about.
It was a noble idea, but I just got sucked into doing things that left me feeling so ashamed and not that great of a witness to these guys I wanted to share Jesus with. : )
As I drove home for Easter, I was crushed. Three years of "living a little" had left me feeling confused and ashamed and not at all ready to go to church. I felt dirty and lost and not sure who I was any more. I was supposed to be the GOOD girl!! I walked into church Easter morning and started crying. I don't think I stopped throughout that entire service.
At one point while everyone was singing, I looked up at the cross on the wall. All of a sudden, it was almost like I could see Jesus on that cross and he looked right at me, straight into my soul, and said to me, "Becky, I did this for you."
I've heard of something called godly sorrow. I had it that day in that church service. It became so clear to me. I NEEDED A SAVIOR. Me! The girl who had been a Christian her whole life. Me! The GOOD girl. All of a sudden I got it.
The Bible says that our righteousness, all the good we could possibly ever accomplish, when compared to God's holiness and His goodness is nothing but filthy rags. Even when I was good, I still needed His forgiveness. And sitting there in that church, stripped of all my spiritual pride to lean on, I knew I had His forgiveness.
My identity wasn't in how good I could be. My relationship with Jesus, my eternal destination, none of it was dependent on how good I could be either. I couldn't earn it if I tried. It was just a gift. And that day I was so grateful for that gift I thought my heart would burst. I felt forgiven, I felt free, I couldn't sing loud enough or long enough. And Easter has been my favorite holiday ever since.
I walked out of church feeling clean and light and all of the burdens gone. I had discovered myself. I was His!
And all the "living" I had been doing didn't hold a candle to the abundant life of being sold out to Him. I didn't leave ready to be perfect or to "get my act together." I went back to college that week ready to just be His period.
We all need Him. No matter how "good" we are, we aren't good enough. No matter how "bad" we are, we aren't outside the reach of his grace. He loves you.
And so do I! : )