Editor's Note: Collegiate Fridays is a new series at CGO in which college students around the country paint pictures of how the Lord is helping them learn and live the Christian story. This week comes from Lizzy Eickenhorst, a student at Lewis and Clark College, who became a believer last summer and is endeavoring to live out her new faith in a milieu she describes as "indifferent to God and hostile to Christianity."
As I travel through my college
campus, I am acutely conscious of the frequency in which our Lord’s name is
used in vain and with profanity. I am not entirely sure if my sensitivity of
this comes from my recent faith in Jesus Christ or if it is just the latest
trend in vocabulary among Liberal Arts students. It is not the offensiveness of
the language that disturbs me, but it is the mindlessness in which His name is
I became a Christian ten months ago. I attend a college in Portland, Oregon that is indifferent to God and
hostile towards Christianity. Since I became a believer my life has been going
through a transformation. In my new walk with Christ I struggle to find my own
vocabulary to express my faith and to distinguish myself as a Christian. The root of my struggle lies in separating
myself from the culture at large and learning to obey God. This tension between
my faith and my culture has been made particularly clear to me through conversations
that I have with my many non-believer friends.
One conversation that I had
several months ago sits in my mind as a turning point in my faith because it
exposed to me the disparities between Christian beliefs and the popular culture
that I live in. I also realized that God was changing my heart to understand
It was a fairly typical Saturday
night in October. Amelia and I had just returned from a night of socializing
and party going; we were having our usual post party game of cards.
one of my dearest friends and has been my roommate off and on throughout my
college career. After a late night we like to play a few rounds of ‘Spoons’.
This game is our time to debrief, it’s a sort of ‘post-party wrap-up’ before we
go to bed.
I had told her about my conversion months ago
and she had not really responded. She had only asked a few sporadic questions.
I can’t remember why but that night she brought it up. She flat out asked me,
“What is the whole Christian thing? I don’t get it…..I really know nothing
about it….” Here was my opportunity to witness. I didn’t know where to start; I
had not yet compiled a concise list that outlined the beliefs of the Christian
faith for me to share when asked. And even if I had I am not convinced that it
would not have conveyed God’s mercy.
So I began with the questions that
I grappled with when I was becoming a Christian. I asked, “Do you believe in
God?” and “Do you believe in sin?” She responded quickly with, “No.” This was
not the answer that I had hoped for, but I was going to try and work with what
she gave me. So I turned it around on her and asked, “Why not?” I then received a sincere dialogue about her
beliefs that were rooted in self reliance and pursuit of self-fulfillment. As
she was telling me this, I realized that it sounded oddly familiar to me. I
used to have and preach that same mentality. It startled me. After Amelia had
explained herself, I told her about Christ. She did not understand. I find that
the belief in the control of one’s own salvation is so prevalent in our
culture. This ideology makes people closed off to hearing the Christian
message. I was distraught about my failure to effectively tell Amelia about the
joy and life in Christ, but I knew it was just the beginning of our
conversations. I was excited to realize that God had changed my heart and that
I could see that my past beliefs did not serve Him. It is challenging to be a
Christian in a community that is dominated so strongly by non-believers, but I
am overjoyed that through the Holy Spirit, I have been shown God’s mercy and
love through the work of Jesus Christ.