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Lily By Grace--guest post

I hope you're encouraged by reading the words from one of our students at UNT. Lillian came to faith in Christ a few semesters ago at our evangelism training (yes, she was there to learn HOW to share her faith, and realized she had not accepted it for herself, but made a life-changing decision). She immediately signed up for Summer Project, and we have seen her blossom into maturity as she has obediently taken steps of faith. Here's her story in her words:
"Before I knew Christ, I was looking for something to give me value just like everyone else. I discovered I was good at music from a young age, I got people's praise & respect often and plus it was easy and enjoyable for me, so of course I ran with it. I would always put my worth in what chair I got in my school and, or at All-Districts, or All-State, and in my future I saw my worth as being a great saxophone player. But when I came to UNT and was still finding success even at a University with a music program like theirs, I somehow still felt empty. I didn't just "notice it a little bit," this craving for "something more" often would keep me awake at night. It was sincerely making me miserable, and I praise God for that. I just couldn't believe that this was really it, I was to live my life as being a good saxophone player... and then I would die. That was unbearably purposeless to me.

When I accepted Christ, I noticed my attitude about being a musician change drastically. At first I went too far, I was angry and bitter because I could see the blatant idolatry and purposeless consuming most of the musicians I was surrounded by, and I didn't understand how they couldn't. As God began to teach me about grace though, I found myself more convinced of the truth of eternal purpose as I watched my peers because I was beginning to more deeply understand that my salvation was not my own act, but God's mercy. After a lot of work on my heart, I felt that the Lord was calling me to drop my major as a Music Education student, as well as my position in ensembles and private lessons, to pursue a degree that would get me out of college faster so that I could go into ministry sooner. Letting loose of that final finger of identity I had wrapped around music was hard because I had so much of my worth invested in it in the past, but God is gracious, patient and extremely perseverant in His love for me. When I finally believed Him, that He wasn't doing this to punish me but because He wants that part of my heart too, it became all too clear that this is what He was asking me to do. It required sacrifice, especially in big financial ways, and there have been many days that I don't trust Him. But at the end of it all, I still don't regret making the decision to surrender that part of my heart, because at the end of the day, what I have found is that it is undeniably true that my heart is only satisfied when He is occupying as much of it as possible."

You can read more from Lillian at her blog:
Lily By Grace
Lillian still uses her many musical talents to lead our group in weekly worship. Here she is giving our kids a serenade and mini-lesson about the guitar. Precious.

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