Both Eyes on God

Growing up I always desired to be in the spotlight so that I could get love, comfort, and attention from others. So, I would lie about what movies I have seen or books I have read, hoping that would help me fit in more. At times I felt happy when someone would give me that attention, but it was never lasting and would leave me wanting more again, and again, and again.

Alyssa

When I was a sophomore in high school my family began to go back to church weekly, which was new for me. I was used to just vague talks about God and Jesus in my home. I did not get it at first. I was resistant to going to church and would be grumpy about it. My mom would encourage me to check out the youth group at my church, but I was like, “I do not want to sit through more of this”.

My junior year, after losing some close friends, I decided to check out the youth group. It was strange. These kids were shining and desiring after Jesus in a personal way that I never really understood before. I may have been a Christian since I was young, but I was not in a relationship with God. That year it all changed. I wanted to experience what the other kids had. I started to read my bible, pray more, and go on mission trips. Yet, even then, I had not fully surrendered my life to Christ.

Coming to college, I knew I wanted to get involved with a Christian group on campus. Then I found CRU. The people were inviting and authentic but mostly, I saw a glimmer of my youth group in them. These people were shining even brighter than my youth group friends. I started to fully understand that God created me for a purpose and I have fallen short of that purpose in the nature of human sin.

Jesus lived a perfect life as man AND God, died, and resurrected again to save us all, as the perfect sacrifice and price for our sin. “He took on all of that for me?! For Him?! For Her?! For us all?!” I thought early on in my journey as a college freshman, but I knew this time that I wanted it all. I wanted to be made into a new person. I fully surrendered my entire life to Christ, wanting to know God more, to be made more like Jesus, and allow the Spirit to do the transformative work in me.

Every day, since then, I have strived to do just that. I have noticed that I have been desiring to make my name less known and make Jesus’ name more known. I do still fall into the pit of trying to win people’s attention and affection, but I have found more joy and peace in serving others. I have learned and am learning that with my eyes fixed on Jesus I find the most perfect attention, love, and comfort I could every need and more.

Never Alone

Amelia got plugged into CRU her first year in the fall. Amelia loves to dance, meet and get to know people, and go out to eat with friends and family.

A little background about me before I get started, I was born and raised in a loving christian household, but I didn’t truly accept Jesus into my life until I was around seven years old. Before I truly understood who Jesus is and his incredible gift He gave us, I struggled and still sometimes struggle with feeling that I am loved or wanted. For some time in my life, I felt very lonely as a child because I had temporary friends. I would have friends who kept moving away or friends who would rather hanging out with other people other than me. Also, I was bullied for about a year, which made me feel more insecure and lonely. 

Feeling lonely and insecure, I started to keep to myself and become more and more shy. I did not think anyone wanted to be with me and I felt very insecure with myself. Every year I went to Vacation Bible School at my church and nothing seemed different, but when I went to VBS at seven or eight years old something changed. That year they had a special speaker come in (one of our missionaries from church who specifically works with children) who taught us about the salvation message. As she was talking, I began to understand and see that Jesus loves me and never leaves me. Even though people come and go, God always remains and you are never alone. I mean, Jesus did die and resurrect from the dead for us, which shows that Jesus loves us more than we can EVER imagine and that Jesus is always with us, even if we mess up. All we have to do is accept Jesus into our life and we receive the greatest gift of grace. When the lesson was over, we started praying and the speaker said “if anyone here wants to learn more about Jesus and talk about this more please raise your hand and you will be able to talk to someone else about this,” so I rose my hand and talked to one of the elders at my church at the time. He talked to me about the same thing, showed me some verses, and I accepted the Lord into my life that day. 

Ever since that day, I’ve been trying to act in love toward others and become more and more like Jesus. As of right now, God has been working in me in so many ways. He works in ways that we do not always understand, but it is always good. For example, COVID-19. Sometimes we don’t understand why pandemics or strange terrible things happen, but God is always working through these things. During this interesting time, God has been challenging me to work through the unexpected- leaning on Him and trusting Him more. Also, my prayer life keeps growing, since I am gaining more confidence in my faith and realizing this is how I talk to God and how I shouldn’t feel insecure about that (especially when praying out loud).