We met Erin at the age of 15 but really this part of her story began 7 years earlier, where she thought she was everything a normal girl should be. Normal school. Normal friends. Normal family. But as the years progressed, she realized that she was alienated at her school. Her friends weren’t really friends. And her family, the refuge she always turned to, were distancing themselves more and more. She began to feel pushed away, unwanted, and eventually, altogether abandoned mentally, emotionally, and physically.
That brings us to 15 where we met Erin, a quirky, fear-filled, and broken teen emptied of direction and passion. She wandered through our doors at Campus Life on a whim and invitation by a couple of our core students. Instantly, we connected and a relationship grew. She quickly became a regular.
By 16, the overwhelming feelings of abandonment at home with the added pressures of being a teenager, top tier student, and involved athlete tipped her into a spiraling tide of anger, anxiety, and depression.
By 17, fights at home, fights at school, and fights with a boyfriend over infidelity pushed her overboard into what we feared was the worst. 5 pills became 10 pills. 10 became 20. 20 became more. Several failed suicide attempts later we caught wind of her troubles. Now before us was a 17 year old checked into Alexian Brothers defeated and desperate. She pleaded for answers, for advice, for hope, and all that we knew we could offer her was Jesus. The Gospel plain and simple.
In the beginning, there was hesitation but that quickly dissolved. When she checked out of Alexia, her immediate desire was to check out a church. So we went. Now at age 18, through trial and tribulation, Erin gave her life to Christ. Now Erin leads the charge with our student leaders to reach and impact her friends with stories just like hers offering the hope and life change she found in Jesus. Her plans are to continue this mission in college and beyond.
Stories like Erin’s are why we do what we do. Why we pray the way we pray. And why we continue to pursue every student. Everyday in our mission we are blessed to see students filled with despair find hope, students longing for direction find purpose, students overwhelmed with emptiness find Jesus!
Tony Au - Area Director