On my dorm floor, there was a Bible Study. A senior named Kristy had recruited two freshmen girls, Katie and Stephanie to host it. They were also in charge of putting up signs, getting people to come, and generally being a good Christian witness.
I couldn’t stand them. I thought they were over the top. They smiled way too much. They spoke to me way too often. They were more Christian than I thought Christians should be. Why can’t they be sullen and reclusive like me?
The Bible Study was one of many that was sponsored all over campus by the Baptist Student Union. I had heard of them. I heard that it was a good place to meet other Christians, but I didn’t need them. And I wasn’t a Baptist, so there.
However, my mom, knowing how miserable I was with my academic and social failure, called them. She asked them to stop by my room and to pray for me. The leader, a 48 year old Texan, named Max, came by to do just that, but I was rude and dismissive. I realize now, that he wasn’t about to give up, so he and the entire staff of the BSU prayed for me by name. Several times.
On Sunday night, November 9, 1986, I was at the complete end. I was ready to find happiness and peace whatever it took. I figured that I would stop by Katie and Stephanie’s room and talk to them. Truthfully, I was kind of daring them. If they were really Christians, then they would have to talk to me, right? They would have to listen, they would have to accept me. If they didn’t, then they were frauds.
So I knocked on their door and they welcomed me in. They allowed me to blubber about my problems for hours, showing nothing to me but acceptance and love.
I think, now, in hindsight, that this was one of the few times that I was truly embraced on an emotional level. I was safe! I told them I wanted them to take me to church on Sunday (not caring one bit that it was a Baptist church) and to take me with them to the BSU meetings. I wanted this, what they had, this joy and peace, and I would do whatever it took to get it.
I went back to my room that night full of hope. As I entered the dark room, I heard something. It wasn’t audible, but it was a voice inside my head, something reassuring and strong and it said this:
“If you can trust me with your new friends, why can’t you trust me with your life?”
To Be Continued