Jessica is a first-year, undeclared, life science major. Jessica enjoys swimming, playing the piano, watching cooking shows, eating good food, and learning more about God through His Word.
I am very thankful for and humbled by this opportunity to share my testimony and how God is continuing to grow me by His amazing grace and love. I am so thankful for my parents, sisters, friends, mentors, small group, and other GOCers who continue to challenge and encourage me in my walk with the Lord.
By the grace of God, I was born into a Christian family with parents who loved God. I can’t pinpoint the exact date I was saved, but I remember repenting of my sins and asking God to forgive me in kindergarten. I’m not sure if I was truly saved at that time, but if I was, I obviously only had the understanding of a five-year-old. However, I am sure that I am now saved by God’s mercy and love. As I walk with the Lord, I am continually discovering and learning more about Him and His perfect nature. The more I learn, the more I am convicted of my many sins and shortcomings. I am still in awe that God loves me so much, an unworthy and fallen sinner, that He would send His only son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins (John 3:16). Jesus took God’s wrath for me on the cross and saved me from the eternal hell and separation from God that I justly deserve.
As part of my testimony, I’d like to share a trial that I went through and continue to struggle with. In my senior year of high school, college applications and worldly desires filled my heart as I worried about my future. Stress and anxiety consumed me. I would tell myself I trusted in God and I would pray that God’s will would be done, but in reality, my heart was full of disbelief. I realized that by worrying I was sinning against God so I continued to pray that I wouldn’t worry, but I didn’t realize the real source of my anxiety.
Every New Year’s Day, my parents give me a bible verse to meditate on throughout the year. I can’t remember which verse I received that year, but I remember my dad telling me that I shouldn’t worry about college and my future. He told me that I worry a lot and that ultimately, it was because I lacked faith in God. His words pierced my heart as I realized the source of my sin was a lack of faith. I was ashamed and heart-broken. I wasn’t putting my faith in Him and questioned God’s sovereignty and perfect character. I was undermining Him as my heavenly Father and Savior. I can’t describe the guilt and grief that I felt as my dad spoke those words to me, but I am so thankful that he did. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him.” By worrying about the future, I was displeasing Him. I immediately repented and cried out to God to give me the strength to put my trust in Him and to set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2). I am so grateful that even though I continued to struggle to trust in Him, He placed me at UCLA, the place where He wants me to be.
God continues to pour out His unlimited mercy on me and I am so thankful that He is my shepherd who brings me back whenever I stray off His path. I’m still far from perfect, but I am continually learning to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to pray for faith and strength to obey His Word (Proverbs 3:5). By His grace, I can tell my faith and trust in Him is growing one baby step at a time. He is growing me and helping me to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness,” not in my own strength but by His (1 Timothy 6:11). By His grace and power, I will continue to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).