Lauren Parks


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Troy University Campus Staff


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Growing up in a Christian home, I was exposed to the gospel at a very young age. The older I got, the easier it became to generate the type of lifestyle that I thought characterized Christianity. Driven by living a moral life and gaining validation from others, the majority of my life before college pivoted on my ability to perform. In many areas, I found success and gained the approval I sought. Life was easy, and following Christ was both commended and routine in my sphere of influence.

Going into my freshman year of college, I arrogantly expected my easy life to continue. I figured my moral prowess and athletic achievements would bring the same amount of validation and success that they did before. However, that first year was a rude awakening. Everything that I once found security in was stripped away, so I decided to try other things. I quickly indulged myself in the typical college lifestyle in hopes that it would bring the fulfillment and happiness I longed for. However, it only left me more broken.

I decided to go on Summer Beach Project with Campus Outreach after my sophomore year. The Lord completely broke me during this time and for the first time I was able to feel the weight and glory of the Gospel. Isaiah 64:6 helped me see that even my best deeds are like filthy rags in the eyes of a perfectly holy God, and that I can never perform good enough to earn God’s favor. It was Jesus’ performance on the cross out of sheer grace and love that grants me new life. Christ pursued me in my filth and brokenness and at the peak of my resistance to Him. He came to save me from myself and offer me something better. In Christ I have everything that I once longed for: a love that surpasses comprehension, satisfaction that supersedes circumstances, and purpose that transcends every other possible pursuit in this world.