Kendra Overcomes Unstable College Life Through Identity in Love of Christ
"I had been captured by God's amazing love for me despite what I did," Kendra started as students passed by the main office desk. "I would get as close to sin as possible without going over...do just enough to still be in control."
Kendra's fight for acceptance started in high school. Getting the right friends, those people who would make her look good, directed her through high school and college. Losing friends and damaging her popular reputation captivated Kendra's thoughts, driving her to avoid anything that might jeopardize her social status. Her college battle for popularity came to a head her freshman year, when she reflected on her actions one night in her dorm room.
Sitting despondent in a University of North Dakota dorm room, Kendra fought to remain in control. Leaving a party early left her alone in her dorm room, where her mind raced. She started calling people, asking where they were, looking for someone to spend time with and keep her mind off herself. Kendra fought the thoughts that raced through her mind and kept calling friends, wanting distraction. A Christian friend answered one of the many calls for companionship that Kendra cast out. The friend never went out with Kendra to parties, but always called to make sure Kendra was safe in the aftermath. Kendra couldn't hide the effects of her night out, so the friend made a special trip to Kendra's dorm room, insisting that Kendra not go anywhere. By the time the friend arrived, Kendra was asleep.
The next morning, Kendra found her friend sleeping on Kendra's roommate's bed. Kendra woke her up and simply said, thank you. The friend ministered to Kendra throughout the morning, showing care and support for Kendra. Their mid-morning talk shed a light on Kendra's life. Kendra realized that while she may have claimed she was a Christian, her actions clearly did not reflect her faith. The conversation led to the question, "what do you have to lose by giving everything to the Lord?"
The post-party talk with her friend was not Kendra's turning point, but it started her toward the path of truth. The path was long and difficult for Kendra, but consistent mentorship and living a life of prayer and discipline has opened the doors wider for the Holy Spirit to greatly transform Kendra's heart.
Now a committed follower of Christ, Kendra displays her life-change through her dedication to Jesus Christ, at Hillcrest. She ministers to the girls at Hillcrest, arranging a full-day Spiritual retreat during formations day as a simple testimony to her servant heart and desire to share Jesus with the girls. She coaches Girls' Basketball, and is planning to attend Bethel Church's mission trip to Mexico again. Kendra notes that these experiences lead her to realize that her life is not her own. She says, "I should freely give my life away because thatís what the Lord did for me."
The love Kendra has for people is overflowing and pours endlessly into her life and work. The message she wants everyone to hear is that God pursues students daily, persistent in his search for them. Even if it doesn't look well, students need to continue in obedience to Christ because His truth is consistent and never changes. Kendra believes that in a culture that is constantly changing, there is no more consistent a message than the love of Jesus found in the Bible?
While her job can be daunting, as Kendra sees the best and worst moments in the lives of the girls in the dorms, her loving and mentoring heart cannot care more for them. She says that when someone comes to her with a problem, "you care so much that you think, 'how can I come alongside you?'" Seeing the girls struggling has continued to be one of the worst things for Kendra at Hillcrest. The tears she shares with the girls carry over to the whole dorm family, and Kendra uses her past experiences, coupled with her new knowledge and relationship with Jesus, to mentor and teach them.
She notes, "God is using me here, and as long as He is doing that, why would I go anywhere else?"