“This is the key to your life…”

Jacquelyn Otte, Dakota State University

A year ago, I NEVER would have talked to a complete stranger about my story, but I knew I just had to with this girl. I HAD to talk to her. I’ve been at the hospital because I tried to commit suicide, too.

Earlier this semester, I made a trip to the hospital because my little brother was there for a collapsed lung (he’s doing great!). While sitting in the waiting room, I played with a little girl.

As we continued playing Barbies, she asked me why I was there, and then told me why she was there. “God didn’t want my sister to leave us yet, He wasn’t ready for her in heaven. So He made her puke up all the pills she took.”

I got the chance to meet the little girl‘s sister in her hospital room (I’d guess she was 13 or 14). I also was able to share my own story with her, hear hers, and introduce her to Jesus. As I sat there sharing how she could know God personally using a Cru tool (through an app on my phone!), I watched not only as she grasped God’s will, but also as her 6 year old sister fell in love with God. At the end of my visit with her, I had the courage to share something I normally don’t talk about… the story of my best friend Connor who’d committed suicide last winter.

At one point, she asked me why I would want to share all this with her. To be honest, I didn’t really know. I just knew I HAD to. But then, she hit it on the head when she said, “Because it changed YOUR life, you want to share it to help others be as happy as you are.”

She was so right. Knowing Jesus has completely changed my life, and I want others struggling with depression to have the same joy I have in my relationship with Him!

When we were all done talking, she said something so powerful. ”It’s people like you who change the world. You save lives by showing people like me there’s something worth living for. You introduce people to Someone who’s everything anyone needs. Don’t ever stop. Even when you’re turned away, remember those of us whose lives were saved because of you!”

Before I left her hospital room, I shared something from the Bible with her that’s been very meaningful to me.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, ”Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life…”

I would NEVER have been able to share about Jesus with her if I hadn’t started my own relationship with God at Big Break last spring, and had someone in Cru show me how to explain it to others.

Who knew God would use me and my story to give hope to this girl!?

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