Ryan & cORTNEY Gibbs
I grew up going to church nearly every Sunday yet did not become a follower of Christ until my Sophomore year at the University of West Georgia. Growing up, my view of God was that He was a distant ruler with a set of rules for mankind to follow. My view was that God drew near to those who followed His law well and was disappointed with those who did not. I tried to walk this line for much of my life, trying to be a moral person to keep favor with God. However, in late high school and into college, I became exhausted of trying and continually failing to do good. I resolved that God was displeased with my behavior and I would get right with God when I was older. I ran from God trying to find satisfaction anywhere I could. I adopted a wild way of life trying anything to attempt to find lasting happiness.
Midway through my Sophomore year at UWG, I was invited to a Campus Outreach meeting at UWG on a Tuesday night. A student shared their testimony about the joy they felt from having a relationship with Christ, something I had never felt my entire life. I was curious. I met Caleb, a Campus Outreach staff member and began meeting with him weekly. He shared the gospel with me. My heart was deeply moved as I heard and read about how Jesus, though completely innocent, would willingly go to a cross for my sins to grant me eternal life. This completely wrecked my prior view of who God was as my eyes were opened to His mercy, grace, forgiveness, love, and goodness for the first time. After a few weeks of meeting with Caleb for bible study, I put my trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord of my life. Over the past couple years, the Lord has kindled a fire in my heart to see lost, confused, and searching college students like myself restored to relationship with their Heavenly Father through the good news of Jesus Christ.