From Death, Comes Life

From Death, Comes Life

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."

One year ago, on August 29, 2014, the University of Southern Indiana (USI) and the world lost a special girl. This girl is Emily Lengacher. Before I continue, this is not meant to be a sad story, but a beautiful, happy one instead.

Emily had just finished her first week as a senior at USI. She decided to go home for Labor Day weekend to spend time with family and friends. Unexpectedly, her rear tire blew, she drove across four lanes, crashed, and the Lord took her. Family and friends came together after receiving the terrible news of Emily's passing to remember and honor her life.

I did not know Emily, I never met her. I was a news anchor and reporter for The Edge, a triple threat radio station located on USI's campus, so I went to her memorial service held on campus just to get the story about Emily's passing. I got more than a story that night.

I grew up Catholic, went to church when I needed to, but I never did anything about my faith. When I got on campus, I met my RA, who is very strong in her walk with God. She and I became very close, so close, that she invited me to church. I declined at first, but about an hour later, I accepted the offer. The night of her invitation, she gave me her first bible that she was saved with. I went to church with her that Sunday. Then on Monday, I received the news about Emily's memorial service.

That Thursday, I went to the memorial service with my recorder, dressed in all black, and an attitude of being respectful. I was there to get a story, that was it.

When the service began, I worshiped with the others by simply singing along. As family and friends of Emily went up and shared stories and testimonies, I listened intently. When her parents and sister went to go and speak, I was practically in tears of how much love was within Mitchell Auditorium. I didn't cry because I didn't know Emily, and I felt as if I had to remain professional. Inside, I felt this weird feeling that I had never felt before. I got my recorder back and left immediately. I didn't know what I was feeling. It turned out to be Christ's presence and love.

I got some dinner, thinking that maybe I needed food. Nope, it turned out I wasn't hungry. I went back to my residence hall, sat on my bed, and opened the bible I was given and tried to continue reading Romans. I couldn't fully concentrate. Suddenly, something hit me, so I quickly grabbed a sticky note and pen and wrote:

"The Lord is real! I'm starting to see it now. Everything is beginning to make sense! I am so thankful He is becoming more real!"

I texted my RA because I didn't know what was going on. She replied back with "I am not about to have the most important conversation of your life over text message. Think about these questions: What would it be like to accept the Lord into my life? What's the difference between Catholicism and Christianity? How much does He love and want me? Think about answers to those questions and we'll talk before church on Sunday." That felt forever away, I wanted to talk about it, but I didn't realize how big of a deal it was to accept Christ into your life.

That Sunday, September 7, 2014, I was worshiping with the rest of the congregation during the song "Lord I need you" when suddenly my RA put her arm around me and asked if I wanted to have that conversation now. I replied with yes, even if it was during worship. She had me say a prayer out loud answering the questions she had asked me. I did as she asked, then she had me do a repeat after me prayer officially accepting Christ into my life as my Lord and Savior.

I began going to Chi Alpha, a youth ministry held on campus, and where Emily used to go every Thursday night. I met many people, including Emily's closest friends. Her best friend, Ashley, continued to go and I was so intimidated of her because I knew how close Emily and her were, so I never wanted to talk to her and say I was saved after going to her best friend's memorial service.

At the annual retreat Chi Alpha has called Fall Break Away, I had shared my testimony with those in the car with me. The next evening, we were all sitting together, and I was asked to share my testimony with everyone in the room. I looked at Ashley, got scared, but decided to share my story anyway.

Tears were flowing, hugs were given, and guilt set into my stomach as I saw Emily's closest friends, including Ashley, crying. I felt so bad, that's what I was terrified of. I went up to Ashley after the group dismissed to apologize. She said, "Please don't apologize for this! These are tears of joy, you are our answered prayer as to why God took her. Welcome to the family! I promise, these are happy tears. This is definitely not lame."

The next day, I was asked to share my testimony in two minutes in front of the entire retreat made up of all of Indiana's Chi Alpha groups to represent USI's Chi Alpha. The next Thursday at Chi Alpha, we recorded everyone's stories from the retreat, including mine, and had it sent to Emily's family. In the spring semester, Emily's parents and sister came to visit, and I decided to formally introduce myself to them. Her mother, Janice, gave me a huge hug with a thank you and a big smile. I got a smile and thank you from her father and sister as well. After that, I could really tell that I was an answered prayer. I could tell at the retreat, but once I saw Emily's family's reaction, I knew for sure.

Like I said, this story is not a sad one. It's sad that the world lost Emily, but with that loss, an answer was given that a life was saved. I wish that I could have met Emily, but God had a different plan in mind.

After speaking to Emily's mother about sharing my testimony openly, she told me something very eye opening, "I know that this is Emily's desire that many would come to know Him through this pain, and that is our desire too, because in the end of our journey here no matter when that is, our time lived for Him is all that will count in the end."

Every day I wear a purple bracelet to remember Emily with her favorite verse, Proverbs 31:25. I wear this bracelet as a remembrance of how I came to know the Lord and share my testimony with others.

Emily Nicole Lengacher, Proverbs 31:25

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit


1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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