The Moment I Realized I Needed Jesus

It was September 2003. I was an itty-bitty freshman at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and had recently rushed Greek Life and became an Alpha Phi.

And that, my friends, is where the Lord changed my life.


Who goes to college, joins a sorority — and then meets Jesus?


It definitely wasn’t what I expected in joining Greek life, since it was a little more like Animal House than I’d care to admit, but it all makes sense looking back.

You see, I grew up Catholic and definitely knew a lot about God. There were even times where I would say I was close-ish to God. But a personal, intimate friendship, day in and day out? Nope.

The spring before college began, a speaker named Jason Evert came and spoke at my high school. He talked about chastity and Jesus. Something began to stir in me that day. I was tired of going through the motions. I was tired of relationships that were superficial and shallow. I was tired of living for myself and needing to control my life.

I was just tired of living the way I’d been living for so long.

At the end of Jason’s talk, he offered for people to sign a commitment card pledging themselves to Jesus. I sprinted forward and signed the card. I didn’t know what giving your life to Jesus looked like, but I wanted it.

Then, I remember praying and asking God to surround me with friends who knew and loved Him so that I could learn how to know and love him, too.

Back to September 2003. I joined Alpha Phi with the intention of making lifelong friendships with my sorority sisters. Little did I know that God would use them to answer my prayers in bigger ways.

Within one week of joining the house, I was given an invitation to join a Bible study and attend a Greek fellowship on campus, sponsored by a non-denominational ministry. I have no other way to describe what began to occur within me than to use the word transformation.

Every time I opened the Bible, it was as if the words were jumping off the pages at me. The Scriptures were alive, and I could feel the presence of Christ. I was hearing truth preached at the weekly Greek meeting and at Mass on Sundays. This was truth I had absolutely been exposed to my entire life, but was deaf to. It was as if my ears were unplugged and I could finally hear what God had to say to me.

I was challenged to surrender myself to God: to accept that I indeed was a sinner, to accept that I couldn’t save myself from my sin — only Jesus could. I was challenged to give him my plans, my dreams, my hopes, my desires, and to follow Him wherever He would call me.

And so I did.

On one hand, I was experiencing more joy than I’d ever known. God was filling me to the brim with His presence, and it was such an exciting ride.

On the other hand, I was a freshman in college. The whole “Jesus thing” didn’t exactly jive with the Greek scene I was now part of. The last thing people wanted to talk about while getting hammered at a Bikers and Babes theme party was their spiritual beliefs or if they wanted to join my Bible study. I felt torn often, but God continued to fill me with peace. I was on the right path in following Him and He provided me with strength to live for Him.

That September, I learned how to pray on a more intimate level than by simply reciting learned prayers, as good as those prayers were. I dusted off my Bible and began to study it. I found other Christians and experienced what authentic and deep friendships can look like. My mind, heart and soul were renewed. My life completely transformed.

It’s been twelve years since I was that little spring chicken in college. So very much has changed…except the one thing I became sure of that September: I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only one worth living for and the only true source of lasting peace, joy and happiness in this world.

And that will never change.

Amanda Teixeira
Amanda Teixeira
Amanda Teixeira hails from Nebraska, aka "The Good Life." She graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Nursing in 2008. She and her husband, Jonathan, are in their sixth year as staff members in the FOCUS apostolate.

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