Bubbly. Beautiful. Smart. Happy.

If you had met Pepper Curry five months ago, you might have used these words to describe her. You may have thought she was the happiest person in the world.

But on October 14, Pepper finally understood what it meant to have true joy.

Despite popular belief based on her cheerful and confident demeanor, Pepper came into her freshman year at the University of Idaho looking to find who she was.

“I was lost. I wasn’t happy. There was something missing and no matter how long I searched, I couldn’t find the mysteriously missing piece to my heart.”

Alex Winslow had been questioning her job at the VandalStore, unsure if she wanted to continue working there, uncertain of God’s plan for her in that place.

Then she got to know her co-worker, Pepper. After the busyness of the beginning of the year started to subside, they had the opportunity to get into conversation, about work, about life, about God.

“My junior and senior years of high school were extremely busy,” Pepper said. “I got caught up living the teenager lifestyle and pushed Jesus and my faith aside. I was neglecting my relationship with Him.”

But in conversation with Alex, Pepper was amazed at the joy she saw in her friend.

“I thought to myself, ‘She glows! Joy seeps from her every pore. I used to feel like that. How is she doing it?’”

Even though Pepper always felt like Jesus was in her heart, she couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t satisfied.

“One sweet day, we realized we both love Lord Jesus,” Alex recalls. “I invited her to check out my church, Resonate.”

Pepper was eager to go back to church, to rediscover the joy that she had once had. After that first night, she began to grow closer and closer to the Lord once again.

“I have never experienced such excitement as when Pepper had just gotten out of her first service at Resonate. I thought she was going to explode,” Alex said.

Pepper could feel the change taking place in her heart. “Every time I went to Resonate, I could feel my whole self opening up to the Lord."

Alex invited Pepper to join the Freshman Village that she led on Wednesday nights, where she could continue to grow with others in her understanding, knowledge, and love for Christ. Pepper jumped right in and was quickly filled with a new energy and fire for the Lord.

One Sunday night in October, after a hard-hitting Gospel message, Pepper gave her life fully to the Lord. She was all in.

Alex looks back gratefully at the way the Lord placed her in that job at the VandalStore, even when she didn’t understand why. She knows now that God had ordained from the beginning to position her in such a place at such a time, for such a purpose. “How gracious He is to invite us into relationship with Him. How wonderful are His plans and His timing,” she says.

Pepper knows now what it means to have joy. She is living each day for Jesus Christ, her Savior. And she thanks God for her friend, Alex.

“I believe that God allowed me to meet Alex in order to save me. I can’t thank her enough, and I will love her always. She was the first person to tell me the Gospel.”