I remember this day last year. This is me this day last year:
Let me just tell you what was going through my little stupid head that day. I was very insecure. I was a college freshman that was scared about friends and didn’t feel loved and I rejected Jesus because of the way other Christians had treated me. I constantly compared myself to people who seemed to have “the perfect college life”. That day, I was miserable and didn’t even realize it.
See that ring on my finger? That was my purity ring, something I wore to prove to people that I was a good person, when in fact I was 100% lost and had not an idea what I was doing.
That same week, I had accepted an internship that would have made me $10,000 in Virginia that summer. A few hours after this picture was taken, I was sitting in my car with a bag of Taco Bueno party burritos and crying on the phone with my dad about how I had a terrible gut feeling about the internship. He said the gut feeling had to be about something, so 12 hours later I sat down with the woman who gave me the internship and I quit on the spot in a Starbucks parking lot.
A week later exactly, my dear friend Gracen called me and told me to come to the 4th floor of the student union, and there I met my future bosses, Blake and Jered. There, I decided on a whim that I would just apply to work at Hidden Falls just to see what happened.
Fast forward a year. This was me a year ago exactly:
The girl sitting next me ended up saving my life. Literally saving my life. She introduced me to Jesus and showed me the incomprehensible love and grace of Jesus Christ. The girl sitting next to me in that picture baptized me in a pool at Hidden Falls Ranch (where I ended up working) while Gracen and my bosses that I met up in the student union watched.
If it wasn’t for Gracen. If it wasn’t for those bosses. If it wasn’t for the girl sitting next to me in that picture, there’s a 100% chance I wouldn’t be writing this right now. There is a 100% chance you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
In August of my freshman year, I remember sitting at a coffee shop and reading. A group of girls walked in and acted absolutely insane and were just dancing and screaming and being so weird. I remember thinking “If I develop friendships like that in college, I will know that I did something right.”
Look at the flannel shirt that the girl sitting next to me is talking to.
The girl wearing that flannel shirt was one of the girls that walked into the coffee shop that day.
This is the same group of girls and me now:
And that girl in the flannel I was talking about? She will be my kid’s aunt without a doubt.
What I’m trying to so desperately tell you is that no matter how far you’re running or how hard you’re running away, God will always have a grip on you.
You are gripped. He is watching for you. He is calling you beloved even when you call Him terrible and hate Him and think He is doing nothing. He is ALWAYS active.
You may ask why things are happening to you, but I beg of you, have hope. Have hope have hope have hope.
Freshman Kellie, please have hope. Don’t hate yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Jesus is saying “not now but later”. Trust Him. Get to know those around you instead of comparing yourself to them.
Jesus could use them to save you.