It took seven months for Mackenna* to surrender to Jesus.
But let’s start at the beginning. Mackenna, a first year physics student and professed atheist, never would have been in MacNaughton Hall one day in October if her lab hadn’t been rescheduled. There, a message caught her eye: “Who or what would you die for?”
Curious, Mackenna approached two young women at the Power to Change – Students’ (P2C-S) booth and engaged with the question. But what she didn’t know was that she had friends intentionally praying for her. David and Tom arrived on campus in September eager to find a Christian group that could help them grow in their faith. They connected with P2C-S and were challenged to write down the names of five people on campus that they wanted to help discover Jesus.
Both David and Tom wrote down the name of their neighbour in residence: Mackenna. Over the next few months, they engaged in many conversations with her, discussing things like the existence of God and His unconditional love.
In December, Mackenna joined her friends at a P2C-S Christmas party, but the experience was a frustrating one for her. “One minute I felt more love and acceptance than I ever have – but then the worship music started,” she says. “I could see that everyone was engaged and it meant so much to them, but I was completely on the outside. I knew I was missing out, but I had no idea how to engage. I was in a room full of people, but I’ve never felt so alone.”
Over Christmas break, Mackenna read through the gospel of John. In January, she began The Alpha Course and following the first lesson, she prayed her first prayer: “God, give me the desire to trust you.”
Mackenna and David spent many late nights discussing her questions as she tried to sort out what she believed. They began meeting on Friday afternoons to read the Bible with a group of friends. Mackenna started to see small answers to prayer, but she continued to wrestle with giving up control to Jesus. She wanted to have a relationship with Him but she wasn’t sure she was ready.
One evening in March, Mackenna thought back to her December worship experience when she felt like such an outsider. But now it was different. She realized that she knew who she was singing to and that she loved Him. Mackenna surrendered her life to Jesus and invited Him to come in and take control.
Soon afterwards, Mackenna was eager to meet and share with students who – like her – were having difficulty letting God take control. Just three weeks into a vibrant relationship with Jesus and she was already helping others discover Him. “You have to lose control,” she says. “You need to know Jesus!”
*Names have been changed for privacy.