If you know my family or I, I believed that the only reason I’m not going to hell is because my grandfather prays profusely for our souls to secure our spots in heaven. He lights candles for our birthdays, he lit candles when I was applying to college (it worked), and my adorable father of my father sets up the church everyday for morning mass. My immediate family? We’re seasonal church goers. On Christmas Eve we go to mass, drop hot wax on each other from the candles, occasionally go sober and enjoy the social scene of Lawrenceville, NJ afterwards. Even with six years of youth group under my belt, I never really knew what I believed or wanted from any of it.
I’m not writing to make anyone believe anything or to make anyone think that there’s only one way to live. I mean, I don’t even know what how I’m going to live.
No one’s going to hell and during my first night at a Christian group that I found on campus, I believed it. I knew Jesus died on the cross but I think after hearing that every Easter at mass I was more interested in the brunch that would follow than why I was going to heaven. But at my Christian Group, CRU, which is a weekly meeting with a preacher and a whole lot of Jesus lovers, someone explained that Jesus secured all of our spots in heaven by dying on the cross.
This doesn’t mean that it’ll be like walking into a frat party when you pass by the guy out front and say, “I’m on the list”. Basically, we are all able to stand in front of God no matter how many sins we have with us and He welcomes us in.
CRU set up a night this past Wednesday, the 22nd, for all women on campus to listen to the story of Marian Jordon Ellis, the author of Sex and the City Uncovered. The presentation was geared towards sorority girls, not because anyone believes we sin uncontrollably, but just to tell us what her life was like and give other women a way to think. She related very well having been in a sorority, wanting to live and work in NYC, and even her love for Zac Effron.
She opened up with a clip from the movie 17 Again, with Zac Effron. Three girls were sitting on a couch at a bowling alley wanting his attention saying that he could use them any way he wanted, one even saying he didn’t have to remember her name. Ellis then got into how it used to be her in college.
College is usually a time for people to reinvent themselves, or that’s what everyone says. Ellis describes our life intensions as looking for a label. We are ALWAYS looking for a label. She describes how this can start out at a very young age comparing this to her feeling unwanted at the age of 6 while growing up in a very large family. SHE labeled herself as unwanted. At that same age, she labeled herself as usable. She realized that this is how she labeled herself in college years later.
Everyone wants a label. Whether we study hard so that we can be scene as the smartest girl in school or if we only buy high end brand clothes so that we can be labeled as rich and cool.
She says her consumption of alcohol and need for the attention of guys was all to fill a hole she later realized could only be filled by Him. The God hole, that she claims is in all of us, can’t be filled by alcohol or sex. And she realized this by looking into her $12 martini glass that was empty, believing that she was empty even with her level of success she created for herself and even after consuming what was in the martini cup.
A friend of hers invited her to church and replied without thinking with “Not a no, but a hell no.” Apparently the promise of cute boys, which she says definitely was not upheld, made her go. And that night her prayer of the single word “Help” made all the difference.
She realized that there is no sin that is sinful enough for God to stop loving you. He loves everyone no matter what. I don’t know what to think about this because technically couldn’t this mean that if Jesus didn’t die that day on the cross, God not love us? Are we supposed to be thankful for Jesus and love him more than God? What’s the difference between Jesus and God?
John 8: 1-11
Today, the 23rd, we were visited, for the second time, by a few Christian protestors- a very loud man, his wife and a random kid which was clearly not theirs. They stood in the quad, with their sign- listing that goths, whores, baby killers, rock and roll lovers, alcohol consumers, and partiers were going to Hell- and a video camera and you better believe that with the diversity of this campus and the label West Chester has as a party school, it got interesting. Basically last time they were here, it was insanity, two students got arrested and well, everyone fought back.
“Hey, yo, I just talked to Jesus and he told me to tell you to skedaddle.” -WCU student.
People started twerking and cursing and yelling and because we are a public campus, the people don’t have to leave- I mean Nido would have this shut down in seconds.
This time it was the same thing. According to the guy I’m at school to party, I’m a baby killer, I should not be getting an education because I’m a girl, I’m a whore and there is no way for Jesus to love me. There’s no way for Jesus to love me because of who I am…? As he was yelling these things people would challenge him and he said that he felt attacked… very interesting.
It was almost comical. He was dressed in a shirt that read “Homo, Islams, Whores, Liars” with a large X through them all. He described the X meaning that they’re not going to Heaven and claims that the people on it have no hope. His wife’s shirt listed everything that women wear that make them whores- which I laughed at. Supposadly if you wear daisy dukes, short skirts and crop tops, you’ve hopped on the one- way train to Hell.
Teachers and students surrounded these people behind metal gates carrying signs that said “Kindness begets Kindness”, “You are loved” and that these people are here to rile everyone up, video tape it, and find something to sue you for.
I’m p sure Jesus wouldn’t approve of this guys method.
There was also a girl reading Doctor Sues books from her phone quite loudly circling the crowd. I don’t understand it and I’m not sure if anyone did but she was trying to do something.
The last time these people visited campus was the week before my first night at CRU. And at the end of the preaching presentation, the speaker explained that what the people on the quad were yelling is not what this group is about and it’s not what Jesus is about. It’s about making others love Jesus and to find Him in any possible way. I’m not sure if I’ve found Him yet but I’ve found a group of people who want me to. And by doing so, maybe I’ll understand myself like Marian Jordon Ellis did. This doesn’t mean that by doing so I’ll stop looking for labels or stop going to parties, but by seeing what the relationship can do for others is inspiring.
This is what I’m doing, how I’m noticing things and it’s in no way intending that anyone has to or should too. Ellis said this and said that she was simply sharing her story. This could be the start of mine or the start to understanding mine so far.