Sometimes people ask me…why the blog title, “Dancing Cripples.” It’s all about hope, about how God can take people who are crippled in a variety of ways and help us dance. When I read Krystle’s story, I thought of Dancing Cripples. Krystle just finished her freshman year at PSU — a year that radically changed her life. I’ll let her tell a bit of her story…
“I met Val 7 years ago in middle school. I wasn’t a Christian, but she was. A couple months ago she told me something amazing: Val prayed for me for 7 years that I would become her sister in Christ. So my journey to God actually began a long time ago, but more recently, actually a little over a year ago, I decided to come to Penn State on a whim. When accepted into the accelerated pre-medical degree program there, I left the relatively docile state of Oregon for the east coast. Talk about culture shock. I didn’t cry when my family left me, I had a bit of a potty mouth, and I also had a bit of an attitude – these were covers for my lack of confidence in myself, my abilities to do well in school, and my looks, but boy would I cry a lot behind closed doors in the upcoming months… I was not a Christian, and I most definitely did not turn to God in my time of need. I was sick of God and the hypocrites that I perceived most Christians to be. I had been raised Mormon for a good part of my childhood and I had been to Christian churches with my friends. God wasn’t someone I wanted anything to do with…
Then I met Afia, my college roommate. Afia liked to challenge me about my beliefs. She didn’t understood how I could believe that maybe God existed and still not believe in the Bible or Christianity. I called myself agnostic. Eventually I consented to go to church with her – more to get her off my back and prove her wrong than anything else. My first time at Calvary Pastor Dan spoke about how broken we all are. After hearing a pastor admit how screwed up his congregation was, and doing so in such a heartfelt way, I didn’t mind church. I don’t think that I would have come back to church or had anything to do with Jesus if that hadn’t been the sermon I heard that day. Here’s an excerpt from an email that I sent my mom the day I went to Calvary for the first time:
The sermon today was about how we are all one of God’s masterpieces. The two things that really resonated within me were: “Everyone is broken.” and “You are not junk.” I sometimes feel so broken and so worthless, like a piece of white trash, but I realized today that everyone feels like that some days, and God really does love me. I am so grateful for that. Everything in this world comes at a price, except for that, except for God’s love. I realized I am struggling to accept God in my life, not because I don’t know what is right, but because I am so stubborn, and I don’t want to change my behaviors.
That email, which spanned multiple pages, was the first true acknowledgement I made of God. Almost exactly one month later, I prayed to become a Christian at a DiscipleMakers fall conference. The decision has changed my life radically. Calvary was the first place I felt at home in Pennsylvania; Erica and the Doulos team, and all of my other friends here were so welcoming. As I get more involved and hear more sermons each Sunday, the more I love this church and the more I love these people. I now serve in Kidz ConneXion, and I absolutely love all of the adorable little kids as well as the others who help. It’s a blast and a blessing.”
“God has worked miracles in my life this past year. I told Erica that there is still a very big part of me that feels like white trash, broken and worthless. But she reminded me that Jesus is the God of losers and sinners. He is the God of the broken and the worthless. Because we are all trash. We all sin, and we all come from imperfect families, no matter how perfect they seem. For me that’s one of my biggest struggles. I continue to remind myself, and pray to God to help me because nobody’s perfect. But I am God’s daughter, and He is well pleased with me (Mark 1:11), and I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). …What keeps me coming back to Calvary is the gospel and the people – both of which have radically changed my life.”
The gospel and the people… I think that’s been God’s plan all along… using the gospel and people help fellow cripples learn to dance. Thanks to Val, Afia, Erica, the Doulos team, Disciplemakers, and a host of other people who have allowed the gospel to shine through them.