Author: Abigail Wenger
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.” – Bob Goff
“I’m not good enough.”
These words have been a constant echo ringing in my head since I was a child. Growing up, I always felt two steps behind everyone in my life. In elementary school, I was so behind in math that I almost had a special education plan designed for me. I was often picked last for dodgeball in gym class, and in general, there was this awkward demeanor about me. I didn’t fit in with a lot of the girls in my grade, and even the friends I did surround myself with were the leads in the high school musicals, the varsity runners on the cross country team, and the valedictorians of my class. As for me, I just tried to blend in with the background. I received the simple reputation as, “the nice, quiet girl.” And although I received Christ into my life my freshman year of high school, there was absolutely no way I would ever have the courage to share the gospel with my friends and peers. Because I had grown up always feeling lesser that everyone else, I automatically assumed that I would never be able to articulate the gospel. I knew it would come out awkward, and there was no way that anyone would believe what I said. In every respect, I deemed myself average. Average girl, average student, and an especially average Christian. And as far as I was concerned, God didn’t do spectacular things through average people.
Fast forward to my freshman year of college at Miami. As a psychology major, I was thoroughly enjoying my classes. I was doing well in them, which excited me, and I found them to be incredibly interesting. The only class I really disliked was statistics. It was a psychology requirement, and because I had always been terrible at math, it quickly became the bane of my existence. Although learning stats was difficult, I ended up not minding the class too much because I really liked the people I sat with. Kristine, a year older than me, was witty and blunt, but also kind. She ended up becoming my sorority sister, so I always looked up to her. And then there was Jackson.
Jackson is one of those guys that is really easy to pick out from a crowd. He is well over 6 ft., and very thin. He also has long hair that is often tied up into a man bun. I liked Jackson, because like Kristine, he was very witty. He had a sarcastic sense of humor that made me laugh, but he also seemed to care about the well-being of his friends and those around him. We quickly became friends, and before I knew it, the next semester we ended up in the same psychology research class where we formed a lab group along with Taylor Tinnin.
The three of us became close very quickly. We all made each other laugh, and I noticed that over time, I looked forward to going to my class just so I could spend time with my new friends. Although we all had different personalities and different backgrounds, we all felt very comfortable around each other. Taylor and I felt so comfortable around Jackson that we often talked about our faith around him, and what was happening at Cru. By talking about these things around Jackson, I learned that he had been to Cru a few times in the year, but was pretty apathetic to the messages he heard there, and didn’t have much interest in pursuing a relationship with Christ. I didn’t even think he knew a relationship with Jesus was possible, or had ever experienced what the love of God was really like.
After learning these things about Jackson, I could tell God was putting him in my heart. Because I had gotten to know Jackson so well, I knew that He could do great things for the Kingdom of God, but even more so, I really wanted Jackson to experience the abundant, and never-ending love of Christ. There was even a point in time last semester when I tried to share the gospel with Jackson, but I let my anxiety get to me. The thoughts of never feeling good enough, and that I could never do extraordinary things for God, especially evangelism, started to diffuse in my mind. I had no training with sharing the gospel, and the whole thing came out awkward. To say the least, Jackson was not saved that day, and I made a vow to myself that I would never try to share the gospel again. I clearly was not cut out for doing any of God’s work, especially when it came to increasing His Kingdom.
But God continued to put Jackson in my heart. Because summer had started, I wasn’t seeing or talking to Jackson, but I still felt that God wanted me to pray for him and his salvation. I prayed the whole summer that the Lord would soften Jackson’s heart to the love of Christ and the idea of having a personal relationship with Him. I began to understand that the Lord wasn’t finished with Jackson, but in my head, I knew it couldn’t be me who shared the gospel with him. I had tried once and failed. I wasn’t good enough. Instead, as this school year approached, my boyfriend Steven and I continued to pray for Jackson, and because Steven and Jackson were becoming friends themselves, I asked Steven if he would share the gospel with Jackson when the time was right. It was the perfect plan. Steven had always been better at articulating words and explaining things. There was no doubt in my mind that he would explain the gospel in a way that was not only convincing, but captivating.
But those were not the plans the Lord had made.
The school year had started, and Jackson, Taylor, and I were once again in a psychology class together. I started to ask Jackson if he wanted to go to Cru, and to my surprise, he said yes. I knew that he and Steven had been hanging out, so I just figured that Steven was warming him up a little bit to the idea of going to Cru. When we attended the weekly meeting, it really looked like Jackson was enjoying himself. I could see that he was singing along to the worship songs, seemed engaged while Ian was talking, and even went to milk and cookies with us afterwards. This made me excited because I knew that it was probably about time for Steven to share the gospel with Jackson. After Cru that night, I asked Steven if during one of the next times he hung out with Jackson, he would share the good news with him.
Fast-forward to next Thursday. I was leaving the psychology building with Jackson after class. I expected us to talk about normal things, like how class went, or our plans for the weekend. But the next thing that came out of Jackson’s mouth changed the entire course of the day for me. He said, “Hey Abigail, I wanted to tell you that I was thinking about getting back into Christianity.”
My heart instantly skipped a beat. Of course there were feelings or excitement and amazement, but this was also totally unexpected and was not following the plan I had made, but knew I had to scratch that. I saw that the Lord was captivating Jackson’s heart, and he wanted to use me as a vessel for His word. Jackson and I decided to go back to Armstrong to talk about what he had told me, and I began to feel God captivating my own heart.
That day I shared the gospel with Jackson, and he accepted a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The whole time I was talking to Jackson, I was leaning on and praying to the Lord, and the words flowed out of my mouth in such a way that I knew it wasn’t really me who was speaking, but rather, the Lord. My focus was no longer on myself, but on God, and knowing that this was His work and plan, and not mine. When I realized this, the whole tone of the conversation changed. The words and emotion I felt were genuine and full of compassion. I knew that Jackson’s salvation was not on me and my own doings, but on God’s alone.
I learned something very important that day. God doesn’t always work through extraordinary people with extraordinary means. He saw that I had placed my faith in Him, and that I prayed to Him about Jackson. When I thought I couldn’t do it on my own, He worked through me. God used me, and ordinary girl, who never had anything special going for her, to share His good news. God showed me that I am good enough. When I put my faith and trust in Him, he can use ordinary me to do extraordinary works for His kingdom. This completely abolished the way I saw myself and what I am capable of. I have always dreamed of doing missionary work, but never thought I was good enough to do it. Now I know that if I place my faith and hope in the Lord, there is nothing for me to fear. I am His worthy daughter, a light of the world, who is going to do great things for His glory and kingdom, with His guidance and hand. Now I can’t wait to see how God continues to use me as a vessel for His word, here at Miami, and maybe even one day, abroad.