“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”
Throughout my first year of college I had been missing one thing. Community. Yes, I had friends. Yes, there were amazing people in my life. Unfortunately, I did not have a place I felt loved or supported, I did not feel a part of anything, and I simply felt as though I didn’t belong. Quite possibly my biggest fear coming into my sophomore year was that I again would not have a community. Boy was I shown otherwise.
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” [Psalm 56:3] Trusting is hard for me. Throughout my life I have been shown reason after reason why I shouldn’t. I’ve been bullied, backstabbed, forgotten, and hurt. So why do I let these experiences stop me from wholeheartedly trusting in the Lord? I’m human. Luckily for me, He knows this. He understands my reasons for hesitating. He loves me still. Upon returning to school this year my fears remained at the forefront of my mind. Upon returning to school this year I made the conscious yet extremely difficult decision I place my trust in the Lord. Trusting that he would provide for all my needs, even those I am not aware of. That decision changed my college experience.
The past ten days have been spent preparing for and running new student orientation alongside forty other student (peer advisors). On the first day of training I walked into a room of [almost] complete strangers. Why was I even there? I was there to learn how to mentor and teach first-year students during their first semester of college. So, why was I there? I was there because this was my community. I didn’t see it at first. I didn’t see it in the early mornings or sleepless nights. I didn’t see it in the seminars or team building activities. I saw it on a basketball court. A basketball court where a plush mickey sat at center court encircled by candles. No, this wasn’t initiation into some cult. It was initiation into a community of people who celebrated their differences and loved all too well. It was initiation into a family. We were real. We were vulnerable. We were bold. The forty of us spent the next five days welcoming the six-hundred or so incoming first-year students. Our first day began at four am and for some of us did not end until two am, but we found joy in the exhaustion. We found joy in each other. After these ten days I was no longer afraid of what was to come. This morning I began classes that were filled with familiar faces new and old. I did not fear walking through campus without a place to belong. I had become a part of a family that loves and supports me. There’s no place I’d rather be than here.