My boyfriend had just broken up with me. We had been together for a year and 3 months. He told me this has to be done if he was going to grow closer to God.
I didn’t understand. At the time I was thinking, That’s not fair! We have been together for over a year so what is different now?
Disappointed and sad I went to talk with Stephanie Travers, an old friend from high school. She listened and then said, “Well, maybe he is right.”
I remember thinking; I don’t want to hear that from you!
Stephanie suggested we pray together. We had both been taught to pray. But, since coming to college, she had made more Christian friends and they had explained how to have a relationship with God.
Stephanie was moving forward in her relationship with God, I was just sitting where I had been for a long time.
She encouraged me to start praying. And while I appreciated her help I thought, only as a last resort if things get really bad.
I had gone to church all my life. But my view of God was different. I was taught that God was this big, scary man who was always watching to see if you did anything wrong. I was always kind of scared of Him.
I didn’t realize that the whole point of God is to have a relationship with Him, not to be scared that He is watching or scared that he is going to make something bad happen if you do something wrong.
I continued to come to Stephanie with my problems with my boyfriend. She would tell me to pray about it. I would be thinking NO! Stop telling me that.
The point when she told me to pray was maybe a week before we went to see the illusionist, André Kole, perform on campus at Salisbury University.
My friends brought me to the magic show to get my mind off of the recent breakup. But in the midst of the crowd I ran into my ex-boyfriend. That was awkward.
The show began and soon I wasn’t really thinking about him. At first it was because André’s magic tricks were so cool. But then it was because I was really listening.
He did an illusion with a light bulb and he was talking about Jesus and how He couldn’t have gotten out of the tomb by Himself, something divine was going on. When he was telling the story I was so amazed. I had no idea that Jesus was wrapped up or the stone was so heavy.
There were all of these facts. It isn’t speculation or assumption; there must have been something that helped Jesus get out of that tomb.
When it got to the religious part of the show, Andre gave the audience a few minutes break to leave if we wanted to. I thought, I’ll stay and listen because I know that my best friend’s life has changed after praying and talking with God. She is way happier since she began developing that relationship.
After the break, Andre Kole did an illusion with a light bulb. He used it to talk about the soul. I can’t really remember how the trick went but the point was, with Jesus in your soul you are going to live forever. The light will always be on.
The message behind it was Jesus loves you. He wants your life to be His. He wants you to live for Him.
I walked out of the show that night and was offered a free Bible.
“It’s the last one,” the Campus Crusade for Christ representative said.
I decided that I would take it and our president, Brad, said it was meant for me because it was the last one they had.
The next night I opened it up and started reading it with Stephanie. A few days after the show I thought, Something tells me that this guy is more than just magic tricks.
So I prayed and asked God to show up. God, if You are out there, I want to know. I just want to have someone be with me right now. I am going through a pretty hard time. If You are out there, help me out and just let me know that You are out there.
The next morning I woke up felt so much better about everything. I felt lighter, like I could get through anything.
I texted Stephani, the one who told me to pray. She texted back essentially to say, I told you so!
So I started praying every night. I still do. I also go to a women’s Bible Study on campus and Cru on Thursdays.
I would say that I was running from God and He let me get just so far and then at a point He was just like, Yeah, I’ve got to catch you now. You are going too far.
He caught me even when I wasn’t looking for Him.
He kept putting all of these people in my path who were telling me to just turn to Him once and see what happens. Between my friends, my boyfriend and then the André Kole show, He was like, Just turn to Me and see what happens.
Finally I gave up.
Now I have my own Bible and so I gave the free one that I got to my friend who doesn’t have religion. I told her it was the last Bible, which means something -- you should start reading it.
She hasn’t started reading it, but she also hasn’t thrown it away, which is good.
I see Jesus as my friend. He was just calling me back to Him. And eventually I was like, OK, I’m going to see what happens.
It definitely turned my whole life around.
When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
“... instead of having [people] accept me for who I was, I tried to change into the person I thought they wanted me to be.”
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