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My Story: Brian Gardner

I felt like a high profile guy on campus who had it all figured out. I thought I didn't need God.

Brian Gardner with Amber Kinneer
Photo courtesy of Brian Gardner

Growing up, my family talked about God, the concept of God was relevant to me.

I had interest in spiritual things but never knew how to pursue them. It was always in the back of my mind.

In college I started meeting new friends. It’s a small campus where everyone knows everyone. I knew students involved with Cru because they lived on the same floor as me.

Very quickly I got involved on campus and built a name and reputation for myself.

I didn’t forget about the God concept, especially as I built a strong reputation as a leader on campus.

Sophomore year, one of my Cru friends, Jessica, returned from a Christmas Conference and told me she was praying for me. She wanted to talk with me. Jessica was a girl I was interested in, so of course I said, yes!

As I listened to her talk about God and explain the Bible to me I became more interested in God and the things I had been wondering about most of my life.

The year before, I had picked up a Freshman Survival Kit during the first week of school. I had taken all the stuff out of the bag, played with the bouncy ball, looked at the books, threw away the CD and it just didn’t feel right throwing the Bible away so I set it on a bookshelf.

The only action that Bible ever got was when it was in my way, I moved it.

After talking to Jessica, I started pulling the Bible off the shelf. I asked her where to start and she suggested the New Testament, reading Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

I was going on a trip to Colorado with my ice hockey team that next week. Jessica challenged me to think of one new thing each day that I learned from the Bible and said we could meet and talk about it when I got back.

On my 14-hour trip to Colorado, I realized that thinking of one new thing per day was shooting pretty low. I was finding 5 things an hour! It really excited me.

I went back to campus asking lots of questions about God.

As I read the Bible and learned about sin and sinful nature I realized, These stories are talking about me. Though I felt like a high profile guy on campus who had it all figured out, the Bible made it clear that I needed forgiveness.

I needed Jesus, just as much as the people in the Bible stories.

I didn’t have it all figured out. I realized I was one of those people who was sinful and had a piece missing in my life.

I had been going to church with Jessica and her mom. One Sunday it all just clicked.

After reading through the Four Spiritual Laws, on March 11, I accepted Christ as my personal savior.

Campus Crusade staff member, Dan Allan, came alongside me and helped me learn how to read the Bible. He mentored me from day one of my new relationship with Christ.

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Brian lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Jeni, and their son, Matthew. He is the Assistant Director of Student Involvement at his Alma Matter, Maryville University in St. Louis. When he’s not at work, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, watching good movies, eating snow cones, swimming and coaching a competitive youth ice hockey team.

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