My name is Layn Tallent. I’m a world renown mess maker, a professional life-rider, an ugly laugh snorter, a first time blogger, a college go-getter and most importantly, a Christ follower.
Whenever I was first asked to write a blog about living life as a cross-chasing college gal, I was excited and honored! Then, insecurities took over. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and life has thrown its curveballs. However, my testimony is not captivatingly dramatic. It’s the simple story of grace. I was reminded of a Christian rap song by Da’ T.R.U.T.H. called “My Story”. [I am also an avid Christian rap jammer, fyi.] His testimony is much different than many other Christian rap artists. His past was not filled with violence or drugs or sex-addiction. Da’ T.R.U.T.H. talks about how he realized that his testimony was not actually his story, but the story of Jesus played out in his life each day. With that being said, what better testimony could I give than my simple story of grace
I watched my little cousin sneak a piece of his sister’s candy. When she looked up, he gave her a sheepish grin. She said, “That’s okay. Do you want this piece too?” That’s grace. There is not a word or action more beautiful and more Christ-like. Throughout high school, I never understood that Christ could love me right where I was. I had this idea of “perfection”. I was always trying to “clean up my life” before I felt like I was worthy enough to spend time with God. I was sixteen years old when I fully understood that I could run from Christ and I could fight the calling of obedience as much as I wanted, but He would always run alongside me saying, “That’s okay. Lean on me when you get tired of running.” Accepting Christ did not immediately diminish my issues with body image, and it didn’t make the negative words of an ex boyfriend hurt any less. It didn’t make losing a friend any easier, but it did mean that I no longer had to measure my life by sin. In that moment, my heart was captured by Jesus and I never looked back.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned in college is that acceptance doesn’t always mean approval, and grace is contagious. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ accepted us without approving of our sinful dysfunction. College has questioned my faith, tested my morals, attempted to compromise my testimony, and it has brought me face to face with many who are lost. In Matthew 22: 37-39, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” As women of Christ, one of the most powerful things we can do in college is to love people right where they are. I fully believe that you must surround yourself with others who love Christ, but I also fully believe that you must surround yourself with those who do not know Christ; you might be the only source of Jesus they ever meet. In the words of Andy Mineo [one of my favorite Christian rappers], “Christ died for this terrible heart; that's why I wanna be where the wild things are.”