Millie is a 3rd year materials engineering major who has been selected for jury duty, is allergic to ibuprofen, and marathons Lord of the Rings every time she goes home for break.
By God’s grace, I grew up in a Christian home, attending church every Sunday with my family. I attended Sunday school, memorized Bible verses for Bible bucks, and knew Bible stories on the surface level. I prided myself in being the well-behaved daughter that parents and teachers praised. Despite attending church every week, I don’t think I truly understood the entirety of Gospel. I knew that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, but I didn’t get the fact that I was a sinner in desperate need of a Lord and Savior. I knew God was real, but far too often I relied on my own strength, pushing Him onto the back burner. I considered myself a Christian just because I had grown up in the church. Church was part of our family’s regular routine… and because I had prayed and accepted Christ into my heart, I thought that I was set.
It wasn’t until late middle school when I started attending youth group and small group that God gradually showed me that I was a sinner who needed to be forgiven. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but God gradually revealed His grace and mercy to me and saved me! I repented and placed my trust in Jesus sometime in early high school. However, with the transitioning between youth pastors during high school, it was difficult to find accountability amongst a rocky youth group and I still struggled with developing a deep relationship with God. It’s only by His grace that I even considered joining a fellowship and church at UCLA.
Fast forward to halfway through my first quarter at UCLA. God led me to Grace on Campus UCLA and Grace Community Church; I got plugged in quickly. During winter break of freshmen year, my small group leader met up with me and straightforwardly told me that she wasn’t sure if I was truly saved. This shocked me, and to be honest, I was terrified. I thought to myself: “But I’ve gone to church my whole life” and “But she’s only known me for one quarter” and “But what if I am going to hell?” Through studying the book of 1 John together for the rest of the school year, I learned the marks of a true believer and how to study the Bible on my own. He incited this craving inside of me that made me want to read the Word more and more. I do believe that God saved me in high school, but it was not until entering college where God really stretched and deepened faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” God’s grace is sufficient. His grace, love, and mercy towards me is beyond undeserved. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for MY sins, as a substitution for ME. But that’s not all… Christ defeated death and resurrected after three days. It’s only through Christ’s atoning work on the cross that I could be reconciled with God. Through sermons and small groups, He has softened my heart to realize the sinner I was and still am today. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and it truly is unfathomable that God replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.
Now that my third year of college is nearly over, it really is awesome to reflect upon the blessings and mercies God has shown me throughout the way. Beginning in sophomore year, God has been growing my heart for evangelism and missions immensely. He’s placed it on my heart to be intentional and bold for the Gospel, sharing this Good News (the BEST news) to the unbelievers that He has sovereignly placed in my life. In high school, I never dared sharing the Gospel with my classmates, but through studying scripture and hearing many sermons on evangelism, I’ve learned that the Bible clearly commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). He has also grown my heart for missions. Our lives here on earth are just a teeny, tiny blip in light of eternity. John Piper wrote that “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate.” God could have snatched us up into heaven the moment we were saved, but instead, He leaves us here, and that’s to make His glory known to the ends of the earth. I’m definitely not an expert evangelist, but whether or not long-term missions is in God’s plan for me, bringing glory to Him is indeed the purpose of my life. While my current status is “college student,” more importantly, I am a child of God and my identity is found in Christ. He continues to faithfully grow and work in me each and every day. Despite constantly falling short and struggling with a multitude of sins daily, I now strive to make my life a pleasing offering to Him – whether it be through serving on a ministry team, or proclaiming Christ to the unbelievers around me. He is so good and He truly is worthy of all our praise.