When I first got to college, one of my buddies from my hometown brought me to a Cru Bible study.
I had grown up going to church on Sundays, but I never really knew what it meant. I didn't understand that you have to surrender your whole life to Jesus and put Him in the center of your life.
So for a couple of years, I was going to Bible study but not living the life at all.
Then my junior year, my friendships in Cru really started to grow. The Spirit of God just shone through [Cru] people. I wanted to experience that.
I had had a lot of trouble that year. I was not getting a lot of playing time in soccer. It is hard for someone who played all the time in high school and was the star to change. And my classes were tough.
Fortunately, but unfortunately, my soccer team got sent out of the Big Ten Tournament that year and I was able to go Cru's fall retreat. The speaker was sharing his own story. I was like, “Wow, that is me right now.”
Then the speaker said, “If you want to surrender your life to Jesus and admit you are a sinner, stand up right now.”
Something was just killing on my heart to stand up, so I stood up and said, “Lord, I surrender. I surrender everything.”
Since then life has been a crazy ride. I started meeting with Bruce [a Cru staff member with Athletes in Action]. Any questions I have, any concerns, I can talk about it with him. It is so important to have someone like that in your life.
I just wanted to learn everything I could. Read the Bible. Talk to my Christian friends. Pray.
And I wanted to tell everyone too. The weekend I got back from the retreat I went to a soccer player's party. I go for the team camaraderie, but partying is not my scene at all. I was just like, “I gotta go tell these guys everything that has changed.”
Ben has been playing soccer since he was 7-years-old. He is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in economics. Ben has an older sister and younger brother. He asks for people to “pray for me, my teammates and all the students here at the University of Michigan.”
If you are reading this and for some reason you hate God, and you feel alone, know that He is constantly loving you. He will turn the situation around. Therefore, choose God as He chooses you.
It could be said that I grew up in the church, however, my heart was not entirely in it.
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