New In Christ
Written by Cynthia Wigginton
She always had a smile on her face, friends littered about, and attended all the parties. She was on the honor roll, shined in her college professors’ eyes, and was a leader on campus. She excelled at work, had stellar reviews, and excluded confidence in her ability. She had it all. Right?
No. Not even close. While the facade of this girl was bright and happy, the soul of this girl was broken, cracked, and dark. Everyone told her she should be fulfilled and satisfied since she was “living her best life” as a strong, independent woman. After all, she did her best to replicate the lives she saw in movies, TV, and music videos. She should be happy. Right?
But she wasn’t. How do I know? As you have probably guessed, this young woman was me. I was 21 years old, a senior in college, and desperately unhappy. The effort to keep up the appearance of “living my best life” was leaving me exhausted. I was breaking apart without glue to hold me together. I was lost and alone, stumbling in the dark. I told no one. I kept up my happy facade to others and cried alone at night. I just survived.
So, how did I make it? “But, God…”
I was invited by the only Christian I knew to hear a “talk” on my campus given by a Marine veteran. I had zero idea this guy was an evangelist as I had zero experience with one. He invited us to hear more of “his story on Saturday at a local church. I went. I ate free pizza and heard a Christian rock band for the first time ever. I thought only hymns existed. I saw hundreds of youth and college students really worship - also a first for me. Two teenagers told their testimony of accepting Christ - first time I had ever heard anyone talk about having a personal relationship with Christ. I was dumbfounded.
Do you mean to tell me Jesus wants a personal relationship with ME and that I don’t have to be good enough to earn it? I thought only good people went to heaven. I hoped I was going to heaven, but secretly doubted it. I was too dirty. I was too bad. I had done things even I hadn’t forgiven myself for - how could God? There was just no way I was going to heaven.
But...these teenagers are saying I can. This Marine veteran is saying I can. I can be forgiven. I can be clean. I can be free. Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible.
On March 11, 1989, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to be my Lord. Friday, I was drunk at the Oyster Pub. Saturday, Jesus saved me. Sunday, I was baptized as a believer. Monday, I returned to my campus a completely different person.
The bright and happy girl was no longer a facade. It was reality. Thanks, Jesus.