I’m a Texas girl who has fallen in love with the PNW. I’m horrible at cooking, even worse at sports, but I have a knack for finding a good sale and the perfect gift for a friend. I’m secretly nerdy, love a good cup of coffee, and laugh out loud to every episode of FRIENDS. Never in a million years did I think I would be on staff at a church, until God interrupted my plans and turned my world upside down in college.
Growing up in a small Texas town, I was familiar with the church. I knew most of the stories about Jesus, all the right answers, and how to be a “good Christian”. I viewed God as someone who was checking off a list and keeping count of the things I did right and wrong. I was constantly trying to be good enough by following all the rules but at the same time felt like I could never measure up.
In the fall of 2007, I could never have imagined what God would do in the 4 years I spent at Texas A&M University. I viewed college as a fresh start, where I could be anyone I wanted to be and do anything I wanted to do. I quickly became more concerned with having fun than following any type of rules that would restrict me or hold me back. I didn’t know it, but I was searching for someone or something to give me meaning, purpose and identity. I threw myself into academics, my sorority, friendships, social life – all the things that I thought would make me happy and fulfilled.
Unfortunately, none of those things were satisfying in the way I wanted them to be. I felt insecure, empty, and lost. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. In the fall of 2009 things began to change, but I had no idea that fall semester would change the course of my life forever. In the middle of one of the messiest seasons of my life, a friend started telling me about Jesus, but the Jesus she talked about was very different from the rule-driven Jesus I knew from my childhood. She told me that Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but he came to make dead people alive. It was the first time I understood my need for the Gospel – the feelings of being empty and lost were death. I knew I needed to be rescued, but I was scared. The story sounded too good to be true. But as I watched her life and got involved in community, I couldn’t deny that it was real and I wanted what they had. So, in December 2009, I decided to follow Jesus with my whole life.
Over the next year and a half, Jesus began to develop a passion in me for college students. I realized that just like I had experienced, college is a time in so many people’s lives where they are figuring out who they want to be and what they want their lives to be about, long after those four years end. But I had no plan to actualize anything; it was just a wild idea.
However, as I prepared for life post-grad, a seemingly random series of events (that could only be planned by God) led me to the Palouse in August 2011. I can only describe it as blind faith. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I just knew that God was asking me to be obedient and move my life to the Northwest (a place I had never been). In following Jesus, I’ve learned that obedience to Him often makes no sense to the world around you, but it is the most fulfilling life I could ever ask for. It’s costly and sometimes hard, but more worth it than anything else I’ve ever experienced.
Every day, that Hope is what I get to share with women at WSU as they search for answers to their questions about meaning, purpose, and identity. My prayer for Resonate Church is that we would be a family who shares the Gospel, makes disciples, and is made up of the best friends anyone could hope to have.
Contact Jamie: firstname.lastname@example.org
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