Blane: Tell us a little about what took you from where you’re at, to kind of a little bit about your story more recently
Chelsey: Yeah, so going from like not really knowing if I believed in God or wanting that. I actually had a friend - this was back in sophomore or junior year of high school - who started bringing me to their youth group, and that was a really new thing for me. I thought it was a little strange, I was a little bit scared, but I kept going - not fully buying into all of it which sounds kind of mean. But, I was curious.
Blane: I love the honesty
Chelsey: So I was being exposed to Jesus and to God but I wasn’t really sure, and it was a little scary, but something in me like …. I kept going back every week. Even though I was a little bit like, “this is… I don’t know… I don’t know why this is so strange and new but theres something about the people there that I met at this youth group, it was like they had this extra spark. I love this community, I love the people, but i was still a little timid about following God, I didn’t really know what that meant. But last october I came to TNW for the first time and I absolutely loved it and it was so new and it was incredible, it just felt right, it felt like I was supposed to be here. I was sitting in one of the pews, it was one of the first times I came to TNW, and I’d just been sitting there in the back, just like wrestling with like, “ok, I know theres this God, and they tell me that there’s this God that loves me, but if I want to follow him what does that mean?” I thought like, I don’t know, a bush was going to talk to me or a whale was going to come”
Blane: It’s happened before, so I understand why you might think that.
Chelsey: Because I didn’t know what it meant to really be a Christian, to accept God. So I was just sitting there and Mike was giving a sermon actually, and he said “if you want to accept Jesus into your heart you just, right now, right here, just ask Him and say you want to follow him”. And I was just sitting there like, “really? it’s that easy?” And I was a little unsure, but then all of a sudden it was like sirens started going off in my head. And it was like great, and I just kept getting this, “yes, yes, yes” and it was a really enthusiastic “YES!” I was like, “Wow! This is so exciting”. And I had my journal with me and so I was getting this message “yes. yes. yes”. And so in my journal I scribbled “YES” in big letters across the entire page, I was like “yes. Jesus”. It just hit me and I was like, “I want to do this”.
Blane: As you look back on that moment, you talk about the sirens and Mike’s message, what was it… if someone was asking you what made you make that decision, where do those sirens come from maybe, what would you tell them if they were asking you that?
Chelsey: I think, I describe it as kind of like; in my life, I felt there was something bigger and I felt that all my good fortune, it wasn’t coming from me ~ something was out there. But I just couldn’t figure out what it was. And so when I came to TNW and I found that everybody was talking about this Jesus. It was kind of like the missing puzzle piece and just putting it in and it fit right there. It was like, “this is what I’ve been needing, this is what I’ve been looking for”.
Blane: So you became a Christian through Chi Alpha at TNW, which is awesome, really awesome… really cool. It’s like the preverbal question like, now what? Like what’s changed about your life, or what stayed the same maybe?
Chelsey: Yeah, like I mentioned it before, but I thought like… we talked about this in Discovering Discipleship, so I thought like…my mind was like… there’s one moment in life that was gonna be a huge thing and all of a sudden I was going to change and then suddenly I would be a Christian and be a totally different person. And it wasn’t like that, I was thinking about it, and it’s like… my life didn’t really change. I didn’t become a different person but it feels like now that I identify myself as a Christian, it’s not that I changed but more like I’m becoming a better version of myself. So it’s different in that way.
Blane: I know when we were talking at the Dav, because that’s the best place to talk about these kind of things, you mentioned… in that spark or in that “yes” moment, like after that from October to now… that there’s just been this hope and this joy. Tell us a little about that, because I know like I see you on the quad and I’m like, “Woah, she’s joyous! Wow I should smile more, this is my job!” Maybe tell me where that comes from, maybe tell everyone where that comes from for you.
Chelsey: Yeah it was just like.. I just got so excited! I don’t know, its Jesus, why not be super excited? I’ve kinda been realizing like… once i’ve started getting more into Chi Alpha …I was like on fire all the time, super super energetic, I’ve learned to slow down and make sure I’m doing it for God. Because it’s really easy to get caught up in like, “I want to do everything”. Chi Alpha is a great thing with so many opportunities and great people.
Blane: Chelsey we are honored to be a part of your story.