Lindsey is a freshman this year at the University of Mary. After her older sister (who is a junior and a campus minister) introduced us, Lindsey and I became fast friends through Ultimate Frisbee and laughter. I invited her to come to my Bible study, and she showed up with a roommate and a friend from high school in tow.
At that first study, Lindsey expressed some fears in her expected experiences at home during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, but didn't go into much detail. The following week, however, after we had talked about Peter's magnanimity during his stroll on the water in our second night of Bible study, Lindsey asked if I could stay after and talk with her. She began pouring out her heart about her struggles with alcohol, with a history of harming herself through cutting, and with former temptations toward suicide. Her first visit home had allowed her to confront these terrible trials of her past and powerfully contrast them to her experiences during college so far. She spoke of longing to give her life to Christ, to continue to learn and understand Him and His Word, and to live up to the greatness He was calling her to; namely, to "get out of the boat" as St. Peter had done.
Turning to me, she asked "How can I do this? How can I live a life that is good?" I asked her when she had last received the Sacrament of Confession. She answered in her vulnerable way "Oh, I'm not going to lie, it's been at least three years." I invited her to recognize this as the next step on her walk toward Christ, and gave her the necessary resources and a commitment to go with her when she was ready.
Just under two weeks later, Lindsey returned to Confession and began the healing process she so desperately needed. Her joy after receiving the sacrament was palpable.
She has since committed to accountability in learning how to pray, and for two weeks has remained faithful to prayer every single day, desiring more and more each time I see her to grow in knowledge of the Lord so that she can share Him better. In her words, "I feel like He's saved me, and I need to tell people."
~Marnee Peterson, Team Director at University of Mary, Bismarck