Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s grace in my life. As I stand in this spot outside one of the buildings on my college campus, waiting for my class to start, I’m reminded of who I was when I stood in this exact same spot three and a half years ago.
It was September of 2015 when I first stood here, taking shelter from the rain, while waiting for the strange man I had an on-the-spot Bible study with on that patch of grass the week before. It definitely felt strange to be waiting for a bearded man wearing a backpack and carrying a Bible in his hand. Honestly, I never would have pictured myself saying yes to a random person asking me if I wanted to study the Bible. Because of my suspicious nature, I only gave him 10 minutes—and I made him sit on the ant-infested grass. But when I heard him explain the one small passage of John 1:1-5, I was amazed (although I made sure to hide it).
When I think about that moment in 2015, I am touched. The girl who sat in that spot in 2015 was so lost and broken, carrying around deep pain, mistrust, and a sense of worthlessness. It was nothing short of God’s amazing grace that somehow in that dark place, a beam of light came my direction. Each week, for over a year, God’s servant would meet me after a long day of work, usually at a fast food restaurant where he would try to beat me there and quickly scarf down dinner right before. You wouldn’t even know he had 5 million other things going on in his life, because during each Bible study he was so calm, sincere, and focused. It really was a glimpse of God’s personal and deeply attentive character. Over time and through the patient, loving guidance of a human servant, I came to know how much the God of the universe loved me. It was this love of God that unlocked all the bolted doors in my heart and filled my deepest voids.
And today, I can stand in the same exact spot as a totally different person. Instead of tears of emptiness and sadness filling my eyes, I pour out tears of thanks and happiness. Instead of a directionless wanderer trying to find an identity in any place or person who would accept me, I have confidence in my identity as a shepherd for Jesus’ lost sheep on my campus. Now, I am blessed to be that beam of light that came to me for many other students. And as I stand in this spot again, I can even reflect on God’s good plans for my life. He has given me a hope and a future—and he even guided me to the Master’s in social work program, which was right down the walkway from the place I was standing. Praise God for this glorious spot. Even though to many it just looks like a regular cement walkway by a patch of grass, to me it is a place where heaven met earth.