BY CARLA WELLONS
I knew from the beginning that Sarah and I were going to be great friends, but she may have thought otherwise.
In the spring of 2012, Sarah Temple and I were two of sixty sorority women selected to represent all WSU sororities as recruitment counselors for the next fall. At our weekly meetings, I would be overly enthusiastic about the job and excited to meet everyone, while Sarah would sit quietly, planning how she could be the most effective recruitment counselor. We didn't become friends instantly, nor were we drawn to each other at first. After long meetings and one of the longest weeks of our lives, Sarah and I broke the ice - mostly because I wouldn't leave her alone. I knew that we were going to be great friends; I just hoped she would reciprocate.
Out of desperation, I scoured her Facebook in hopes to know her better. She had bible verses scattered throughout her page, so my heart leapt. I did something I wouldn't normally do - I texted her about my findings and asked if she was involved in a church. She texted me back, politely turning me down and saying that wasn't her thing. Even though she declined, it started to break down some barriers and we actually became friends. At least we would tweet each other and say ‘hey’ on campus.
I would continue to invite her to church and be her friend, but she had it all together, she didn't need any help. She said she wanted to come to church six different times over the summer, but never followed through. Her life was set, she was in motion to be a doctor, she was recently elected onto PanHellenic (the governing board of all sororities on campus), and didn't need to let anyone new into her life.
After relentless pursuit, she showed up to church one day. That was the moment I knew God was working in her heart and that He was about to do something big. She filled out a connection card saying she wanted to know more about Jesus. Jessica Dahl and I met up with her and she told us what she thought about life and spiritual things. She had no need for Jesus, she just liked to learn about Him. We shared the gospel with her, but she thought it was simply a good story and she kept on her way. Luckily her way included coming back to church. Week after week she would come to church and learn about Jesus.
One Sunday everything changed.
Josh Martin preached about now we can never be good enough for God, but that all we really needed was to start a relationship with Jesus and surrender our lives to Him. Josh asked if there were people listening who hadn't made the decision to do this yet, and asked them to stand up and go to the back to pray with someone. In that moment, Sarah felt something she had never felt before: the Holy Spirit.
Her heart had changed, suddenly and inexplicably. She decided to surrender.
She followed her feet and found herself in the back of the auditorium praying with Jessica. She had told her body no, but her spirit had moved her forward. Jess spoke truth to her, telling her to pick her head up and fix her eyes on Jesus.
I've had the privilege of walking next to Sarah since that day. She is so much more open with her life and now her purpose is to please the Lord. She was baptized on December 8th and has fully given her life to Christ. She went from a broken world that didn't make sense with a view of Jesus as a good guy, to a new creation, alive in Christ with hope and a future and a story to tell. While she is still an ambitious student, full of responsibly and dreams, she continues to learn about God and seek His will in the bible and through others. She is a joy and a light to those around her, including me. She teaches me to be a better learner and asks questions that push me closer to Christ too.
Sarah is truly a picture of the gospel. She has experienced a love like no other. She is a portrait of grace and a reminder of Christ's love. Once she ran away from Jesus, dead in her sins. Now she is running to Him and embracing life.