If you asked her to describe her story, Molly West would use the word “resurrected.”
Molly was raised in a culturally Christian household, that is, one that goes to church sometimes but doesn’t have a lot to do with Jesus. “We would go to church on the holidays, but I never really knew who Jesus was or what the gospel was.”
This weak worldview would be put to the test when her parents got a divorce––and it was a test that Christ-less religion couldn’t pass. With few tools to deal with or make sense of suffering, Molly struggled with anxiety and depression and eventually withdrew from close friends.
At this point in her life, Molly says that she may have heard the gospel once or twice, but she had yet to understand what it was and the real impact it could have on a person’s life. She felt like she was doing the Christian thing; but she realizes now that she really wasn’t.
After finishing high school, Molly thought she had the entire plan of her life mapped out. She had high aspirations of joining the same sorority as her older sister and earning a degree in petroleum engineering––from there, she thought, her life would be set. In the Spring semester of her Freshman year, she transferred to Texas Tech and was given a membership invitation to her dream sorority. Molly’s older sister had been Vice President and was very popular amongst her peers so she knew that she would have big shoes to fill, but she was excited for the challenge.
Then, just as everything felt like it was falling into place, it started to fall apart.
Three days into her New Member Period, some of Molly’s past sin made its way to the light. Then it went under a flood light as her mistake became public. Word made its way to the executive board of her sorority and Molly would have to face the consequences. “I was released from my New Member Period, which means I got kicked out.”
Molly felt as though every single thing she had put hope and faith in was lost. She experienced a lot of shame––shame for what she had done to herself, her name, and her sister’s good name. In the following days, Molly found herself looking around her dorm and saying to herself, “I don’t know who I’m going to be.”
Unfortunately, Molly fell into the wrong crowd quickly thereafter. She started on a downward spiral that would last all the way until the beginning of her junior year. Her life of sin would only beget shame and more sin. “I would wake up and just feel so dead and so full of shame, just not knowing where to turn next, except to the same friends who were doing the same things and they would say it was funny and that it was okay. So I just kept doing it.”
During her junior year, Molly helped start a chapter of the sorority she is currently a member of and, as a result, started going to a college ministry geared toward Greek organizations. While she was there Molly met a girl named Courtney, and it was obvious that there was something different about her.
She sensed that Courtney’s view of Christianity was different, which made Molly look at her own life differently.
“All along I thought that I was doing it. I thought that I had everything I needed in my faith. I had a Bible, I prayed every once in awhile, I even asked God for forgiveness on mornings that I woke up and felt full of shame. But she shined. She was just joyful, and she put her hope in something that I just didn’t understand and I couldn’t explain.”
Within two weeks of meeting Courtney, Molly made up her mind that she was going to be the same thing, that she was going to exude the same type of joy and light she had seen in Courtney. She wanted to stop her former ways of life: over-drinking, partying, and all the things that come with those. She tried. And tried. And tried some more. She even started meeting with a girl from Redeemer weekly to talk about life and godliness. But she failed so much.
“The more I tried, the more I failed.”
That winter she haphazardly attended a conference put on by a campus ministry. While at this conference, Molly had the greatest of wake up calls. “Everything clicked. I realized how good of a plan God has for me and I realized how broken not only I am but how broken our world is. And to solve that problem, God sent his only Son to die on the cross for our sins. I learned that it’s not enough to just know that, I needed to believe it and to put my hope and trust in it, rather than anything of this world.”
“I had tried so hard to change on my own for months. But the moment God took over, there was a drastic difference in the way I saw what I had been chasing after, and all the things I had struggled to really give over to God were finally his. He had changed me and changed my desires.” She describes her way of life now, her interests and desires, as a “complete 180.”
Now the chaplain of her sorority, Molly knows full-well the kind of influence her story is having on her sisters. “Girls in my chapter saw that change. I think that’s what’s so cool about being the chaplain now is that they get to see what it looks like to go from that darkness to that light and from death to being so full of life in Christ.”