This week we’re sharing a testimony written by a 20-year-old college student who was floundering regarding her identity as both a young woman and as a believer before she began to work through The Cry of the Hidden Heart with a mentor. Four weeks into the study, the fog started to lift as once again she began to embrace the love of her Creator for her as a woman uniquely made in His image. Her confusion and despair are probably shared by many students on college campuses as biblical values are being challenged. But God …
I was in a very bad place before I began this Bible study. 2016 was a terrible year for me, personally. By November, I had hit rock bottom—I didn’t sleep, I overate and only ate sweets and I didn’t exercise, so I gained 20+ lbs., my grades had fallen, I hadn’t gone to church in months, never read the Bible, and rarely prayed. I was depressed, angry, and apathetic toward life, all at once. Most of all, I was lost. I felt like I was floating through life, going wherever the wind blew me. I didn’t have an identity. I didn’t know who I was supposed to be, or even who I wanted to be. All I knew was that I was neither.
My weight gain made me depressed and ashamed: I began wearing men’s XXXL shirts to hide. I asked myself why it made me feel so ashamed, and one day, the answer struck me: it made me feel like less of a woman, or at least, a failure as a woman. The thought crushed me. I had somehow failed to be the most basic part of myself. I realized then that I desperately wanted was to become a mature Christian woman. But I had no idea how to be a Christian woman. What did she look like? How do I get there? The answers, I thought, would surely be in the Bible. But I hadn’t opened my Bible in months; I had no idea where to begin, so I didn’t even start. I began to wish I had a mentor who would walk me through the Bible, get to know me personally, and teach me how to behave as a Christian woman.
After a couple of weeks of praying for this, God led me to Hidden Heart Ministries. This Bible study has blessed me in multiple ways. It has brought me closer to God. It’s reminded me of the power of the Gospel. This gave me the confidence to face my demons more directly; it also gave me the spiritual weapons I would need to be successful. It provided me the mentor I wanted, and all the support that comes with a personal relationship. The study has forced me to reexamine my life: it has highlighted problem areas, bad thoughts, and bad habits that I didn’t even notice. And yes, it has provided a clearer picture for me of what a Christian woman looks like and how she lives. It has given me hope.
The Bible study has also changed the way I look at marriage and people in general. For example, my friends and I used to always speak unkindly about certain males in our lives when we got together. Because of this study, I am now more forgiving of these boys and don’t feel comfortable with our gossip. When I give my girlfriends relationship advice now, I try to tell them things I’ve learned from the study: to serve, to think of their boyfriends first, etc. It’s easier for me to see the sins and shortcomings of my friends and myself. I try to be more forgiving and patient with everyone around me.
As for marriage, I am no longer afraid of it. Before, marriage was a big unknown that I always felt unprepared for. While I still don’t really want marriage (I’ll take it if it comes), I’m less scared of it. I feel more confident that I’ll know how to act as a wife to best help my husband and prosper the relationship.
This study reminded me of my identity in Christ. Since it’s begun, I’m starting to make healthier choices, my overall mood has improved, and the Bible is no longer scary to open. I feel confident in my identity as a child of God, and I no longer feel lost. Even though this study is aimed toward married women, I’d recommend it to any young woman who finds herself in a hard place, as it will remind her of the immense hope we can find only in the Gospel—and that is a blessing one cannot describe.
Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this study!
Have you thought of sharing The Cry of the Hidden Heart with your student?