Ashley Cook

Campus Staff

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Hometown: Evansville, IN

School: Graduated from University of Southern Indiana in 2013

Growing up my family went to church every Sunday and were very active in the church. I thought my good reputation meant that I was good before God. I thought of myself as a friend of God who just needed a “touch up” here and there. What I didn’t realize was that I was using other people as my standard and judge. I would look at others and think, ‘at least I’m not as bad as them,’ using approval as my yardstick and was devastated when I failed to measure up. I was stuck in an exhausting cycle of trying to please others and failing. When I entered college this cycle only continued. I would go to Bible studies and know all the right answers and would go to parties with friends right after, trying to win the approval of everyone around me with no one really knowing my whole life. At the end of my freshman year a close friend called me out saying, “I know that I’m not a Christian, but you are calling yourself a Christian, yet our lives look exactly the same. So what’s the difference?” I hated this question but it stopped me in my tracks; why didn’t my life look different? My solution was to try even harder, but God in His mercy intervened. My Junior year of college I met a girl who shared with me the bad news of my hopeless state so I could understand how good the “good news” actually was. She told me that as high as my standards of good were, God’s were infinitely higher and on my own I had no hope of living up to them. God changed my heart by helping me understand that He didn’t just send His son because He loved me but that I was such a rebel against His holiness that a death was necessary. God, being rich in mercy, sent Jesus to die that my record would be erased and that I would gain his perfect righteous record. Now I can come before Him and He can look on me with approval and love instead of the wrath I deserve because I am seen with the record of His Son’s perfect obedience. I still fall short and need His grace everyday but I am reminded His mercies are new every morning and I get to pursue true joy and lasting peace in Him who never disappoints and always satisfies.