This story was sent to me yesterday, not from someone who participated in Engage24 but from someone on the receiving end. The Gospel is what changes lives…Jesus can only change lives. Here is Amy’s story:
I just wanted to show my appreciation for this event, and this link was sent per my request via the girl who spoke to me. I do wish to remain anonymous due to the personal aspects of my story, and I felt it necessary to be told in my own words.
To make a long story short, I’d like to start off by saying that I was not raised as a Christian by any means…in fact, I grew up in a household where “God” was an adjective to a few choice words. My dad died from cancer when I was really young, and I think my mom blamed God a lot because of it. She was depressed for a long time, and was even institutionalized for a brief period of time. I spent six months with my aunt and uncle as a result; my only time ever exposed to church, or Christlike people.
On Thursday, Oct. 11th, I found myself sitting in an empty classroom with a class acquaintance We were in between classes, and she had invited me to drink coffee with her. We’ve talked about our lives for a while, and I knew she was a Christian. You see, I was kind of happy she asked because there was something I desperately needed her perspective on.
About a year ago, I found myself pregnant after a very brief affair with a married man. We were irresponsible, and I was ashamed of myself. Distraught, I ran home to my mother, craving some support.
Unfortunately, she was just as ashamed as I was and could not believe the decisions I had made. In her words: “I didn’t raise you to be a whore.”
Her disappointment cut me, and with no other option I could see…I had an abortion the next week.
The next months were filled with such a horrid emptiness, I couldn’t even begin to tell you. It was only after starting the semester an meeting some new people that it began to subtly subside.
So. I walked into the classroom, completely prepared to have this discussion with my new friend. She seemed grounded, and I really wanted to know what her God said about my mistakes. Based on my previous experiences, I was fully prepared for a discussion about fire, brimstone, and eternity in Hell for everything I’d done. In fact, I had already emailed my professor to say I might miss class…just in case things got to heavy and I had to leave.
But she surprised me when she said two words. “It’s okay.”
Then, she smiled, grabbed my hands and told me all about how and why everyone is messed up. Most importantly, how and why everyone still has a hope. She told me it was “The Gospel” and that it meant that regardless of who and where I was…I was still loved.
I wish I could tell you I accepted Christ right then, but I didn’t.
I’m still trying to figure a lot of things out, but I wanted to thank you (whoever you are) for doing this.
Your “Engage 24” really gave me something tangible, and it has been the first piece of life I’ve seen in a while. I’ve even begun to see new strength, and it is helping me begin to do things like rebuild my relationship whith my mother. I plan on calling the father of the child I aborted and forgiving him for the way he reacted.
I’ve also been speaking with my aunt and uncle, and they are giving me more resources about life as a Christian.
Thank you to my new, dear friend, and thank you people of this organization. I look forward to thanking this God, and learning more about him. You have impacted me more than you’ll ever know.
Who are you going to share the Gospel with?