(Ok not really seduced, that just made for a more interesting title) To give you some background to this story, I grew up poor thinking that there was a divide between the rich and the poor. I had always felt like I had been judged and treated different because we didn’t have the trendy clothes, my parents drove junky cars, and I think everyone knew we were broke. So naturally once I got to college I learned about frat boys and sorority girls. My impression of them was that they were all spoiled jerks whose daddy’s gave them whatever they wanted and they all thought they were better than everyone else. And I wanted nothing to do with them. I also figured they would want nothing to do with me. Little did I know that all of that would change after hitting on a girl at a concert (it wasn’t the hitting on the girl that changed things, it was God working things out for the best).
The University of Arkansas would frequently have free concerts for students and I happened to be on campus during one of them. I didn’t want to be at the concert alone so I texted one of my good friends and my dad to come join me. In the middle of the concert I happened to glance behind me and I noticed a this pretty girl standing in the back. And she happened to be looking at me right when I turned around. So I glanced back a little later and sure enough she was looking at me again. This time she gave me a little smile. Once my friend and my dad picked up on what was going on they made it clear that I couldn’t just stand there, that I had to go talk to her. This is where God must have really entered the picture. I wasn’t the type of guy to walk up to a random girl and strike up a conversation or throw out a smooth pick up line. I had never really done that before, so I was pretty nervous. But I gave it my best shot and came up with something cheesy. I think I told her that the acoustics were better over where I was sitting and that her and her friend were more than welcome to join us over there. I might point out that we were the only ones standing in that section of the amphitheater, so they knew I was full of it. The girl and I hit it off and we ended up hanging out quite a bit after that. It turns out that on a socioeconomic level we came from opposite ends of the spectrum. Her family was pretty well off, her parents had never been divorced, and she was even in a sorority. We were both fascinated by the completely different worlds we had grown up in. We continued to hang out for the next month or so but we never officially started dating, though everything seemed as though we liked each other. Not long after we met she started telling me that her brother started a Christian fraternity called BYX and that it would be perfect thing for me to join. I had only been a Christian for a couple of months and I didn’t know anyone on campus. She told me there was an event coming up where I could meet some of the new potential recruits and find out more about the fraternity. I definitely wanted nothing to do with it and I told her that. She still convinced me to go. I was assuming it would be a bunch of rich spoiled kids who would turn their noses up at me. And when I showed up to this event that was definitely my impression of them. I left the meeting thinking, I want nothing to do with that group of guys. However, I feel like God very very clearly put it on my heart that I needed to join this fraternity. There were no audible voices, but every time I prayed, I felt like there was someone in my head saying join BYX. On top of that it kept coming up in random places with random people. I had lots of objections though. One, I needed to focus my time on working and school, so I didn’t flunk out or have to quit because of money. Which brings me to number two, how would I pay for it. Three, why would God want me to hang out with these spoiled rich kids and how could that possibly help me grow in my walk with Christ. None of the objections worked, this voice in my head and my heart kept bringing it up that I needed to join BYX. So I went to a few more of these events and ended up joining, though I was dragging both feet the entire time.
Little did I know that I would make some of my closest friend because of the connections in BYX. For example all but one of my groomsmen in my wedding were either in BYX or I was connected to them through BYX. As a new Christian with no friends on campus, much less Christian friends, there was nothing better that I could have done to help me grow as a new Christian. On top of that it helped squelch my prejudice and judgment of people with money. I realized that they are people too, who have wounds and hurts and are facing the same trials I was. This group of guys taught me what it meant to be a Christian and have fun. Fun without drugs, sleeping around, drinking, etc. And they taught me the importance of community and that I can’t do this life alone. It was through BYX that I would meet all my future roommates. It was through Justin Morgan, one of my fraternity brothers, that I would get introduced to Student Mobilization and that is who I would to Kaleo through (Kaleo is a summer program where many of the following God stories took place). And it was through connections at Kaleo that I ended up meeting my wife and a couple of my closest friends to this day.
All of that to say, I am grateful for that girl at the concert. It never turned into more than a friendship, which I am glad for. But I learned that God often uses the opposite sex to draw us into something good that we never would have done on our own.