Lance’s Story

Lance Beaudry

CM Alumni – 2012

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I was a part of the worship team as a worship leader, led a spring break trip, and best of all, I met my wife at CM@GVSU. Campus Ministry gave me a group of friends to grow closer to God with. It many ways it was like any ordinary social group, but there was the extraordinary experience of sharing our lives together as week seek to know and make Jesus known.

Right now I am serving as the Youth and Young Adult Director at First Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Rapids, MI. I also own a digital creative agency called Avalanche Creative. My wife, Rayanne, and I have been married for three years. Ben and Stacie Post did our marriage counseling and that was one of the most influential ways we have been impacted by CM – our relationship with those two and of course, Chris Pieters.

Kendra’s Story

You Are Not Alone

Kendra Beasley

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 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” – Acts 20:24

If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be publicly sharing that one thing that not a single person knew about, I’d have told you that you were crazy. But God had an even crazier plan. About 11 months ago, after ending a relationship, changing my major, and loneliness hitting harder than it ever had before, life just kept knocking me down and I felt myself moving farther and farther from God. My brain reverted to using its best coping skill: pornography. One day the conviction hit me like a brick, and I knew it was time to talk, to bring this to the light. I had an addiction to pornography and I needed to tell someone. Keeping something so secret for almost four years, and feeling alone as a girl fighting this battle, I was scared to talk. I feared rejection, and I knew without this addiction, I would have to start dealing with the emotions that overwhelm me, the porn was an easier escape. This addiction had become a safety net, and a sense of comfort, a way to avoid dealing with the realities in my life. I knew I didn’t want to feel this way anymore, but I also knew telling someone would be so much harder than just living with this addiction. I kept telling myself I deserved this, and I needed it to survive, God had taken so much else away from me, with this though, I thought I control, no one could take it away. I just didn’t trust that God could heal me or make me whole again, after losing my dad and brother. I used this addiction to cope and to just get through the hard days. Was God really big enough to heal me? To fill all those voids in my heart? Looking back over this past year, I can say yes to those questions. While I’m still in the fight, God has given me so much freedom and healing. I have felt more comfort and peace in my life than I have felt in a very long time, if ever.

God has blessed me with countless accountability partners. There are numerous women of faith in whom I confided this secret, many of whom revealed their own struggles with sexual temptations and addictions. These women have shown me what it looks like to be brave, and how to turn to Christ when you are feeling most vulnerable.

I just want to finish by speaking to those girls out there who might be relating to this, any girl who might be struggling with sexual sin and feel like you have to hide, you don’t have to, and you are not alone. I know its scary, I took that step of faith a year ago. While everyday is still a battle, I have found freedom with Christ. I have broken so many chains that I thought could never be broken, and now its your turn.

 

Payton’s Story

My story

Payton Mills

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Me at age 14: I thought I was a ‘good Christian kid’, in church, in youth group, in school, on the basketball team. I had a solid foundation of Christian friends, family, and mentors. I was involved with Bible studies, going on mission trips, and whatever else a church kid does. Honestly, I didn’t recognize any major sin in my life. Then, what at first seemed like an innocent curiosity turned into complete bondage. I got hooked on porn.

My pride held me from confession. If I’m a good Christian kid, there’s no way I’m going to admit that I’m watching porn and I need help. What would people say? What would people think? Only perverts and addicts are into this stuff, right? I’m going to be an outcast. I was deceived.

I tried to kick the habit in high school. I told my dad, and he kept me accountable, but I lied over and over. I told a couple close friends the summer before college, and it helped for a short time, but the lustful thoughts were still so nagging. I wanted to kick the habit because I knew it was bad; I don’t know if that was the right motivation. I was more concerned about being embarrassed than I was about breaking the heart of God.

I got to college at GVSU and pornography became a habit again, not as often, but still a habit. I knew that I loved God and had a relationship with Him, but I was not fully free.

At this point, the question should be asked: If I’m a true follower of Jesus Christ, why am I not free from this? Why am I not leaving my sin? Why am I wrestling with the desires of my flesh so much? Why can’t I just obey God? I felt like Paul in his letter to the Romans when he says,

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” – Romans 7:15,19

Then, I hit February of my freshman year. I was emotionally broken, spirituality broken, the freshman wall had hit, and I could not do it on my own. God humbled me. One day, I had a very rough evening and I found myself falling for temptation. By the end of the night, I hated what I had done, I did not like who I was, and I broke down before God. I finally gave it all up to God and cried out in my heart,

“God, I want you. I want to know you fully and to love you fully. I know this sin is separating me from the goodness of you. Help me.”

The next morning, I went over to my friend’s apartment. I knew he was a solid Christian guy; we had become friends through our Lifegroup Bible study with Campus Ministry. All I said to him was, “Hey man, do you want to like start doing some sort of accountability or something? I need it.”

And he said, “Yeah man, I need it too.”

Those might be my favorite words that have ever come out of anyone’s mouth in my lifetime. To know that I was not alone and to have a brother in Christ who I could walk this road with was so freeing. We started meeting up once, twice, three times, and more each week to talk about how we were doing; to pray and dive into God’s Word together. I had never experienced life like this: deep friendship, true joy, seeking God, being loved and rescued by God. It was awesome. By the way, the guy’s name is Nate, GREAT guy; you might know him.

From that one night, February 18, 2015, God has transformed my heart. He has allowed me to walk in freedom. He has given me friends better than I deserve. He has showed me my passions and gifted me with roles to help and serve others. My life is full of Him, and I don’t deserve it. I’d be a fool not to live for him. I am humbled and grateful for God’s work in my life.

Since then, I have been free from pornography. It’s been the best 601 days of my life.

“For freedom Christ has set us free…” -Galatians 5:1

Have I been perfect? Absolutely not. I’m just in this wonky dance that Christians call ‘sanctification’, growing closer to God, two steps forward, one step back, three steps forward, two steps back. For we all stumble in many ways. But I know that if you seek God, you will find him. And if you let Jesus Christ carry the burden of your sins, he will. And everything that God has promised will come true.

And guess what, you and I get to live this life with him and beyond. Jesus Christ and God’s Word are the rock I stand on.

I would hate for us all to live in isolation, to think that we should have it all together, and to hide the darkest corners of our life from each other. That’s not right. A guy named Milton Vincent puts it this way,

“Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?”

Jesus Christ did not die for the righteous; he died for the sinful. I am glad I don’t have to save myself.

We need God, we need Jesus, and we need each other.

“The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful- for he cannot deny himself.”  – 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Annette’s Story

Finding God in Community

Annette Williams

annette-1When I came to college, I was on the path of becoming a statistic of kids who walked away from the church once they left home. A relationship ended in my senior year of high school that caused me a lot of hurt and I unfortunately turned that hurt into anger towards God and an overall apathy toward Him and the church. Not long after that I found myself feeling restless, like I couldn’t find peace anywhere I looked. I see now that it was because I was looking in all the wrong places, primarily partying and unhealthy friendships.

This pattern held into my freshman year. I still felt like I was a “Christian”, but my relationship with Christ was nowhere near what it should have been. I went to church, but only because I felt like my parents wanted me to.

It wasn’t until I was invited by one of my to Post Family Farms by a girl on my floor, who is one of my greatest friends now, with her life group that things really changed. From then on I had an awesome community of girls who supported me, poured into me, and held me accountable.

That peace I had been searching for finally came and I am so grateful for how God has orchestrated everything to bring me back to Him. I don’t even want to think about how my college experience would differ from what it is had I not gotten involved, I know I wouldn’t be telling this story, I wouldn’t have the great friends I have now, and I wouldn’t be leading a life group myself this year. God is so present in this community and I am blessed to be a part of it!

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