This past week has been full of the feels.
LAST CORE GROUP
I had my last core group of the school year. We washed each other’s feet, did affirmations, and read the letters we wrote to ourselves at the beginning of the year. It was so beautiful. 3 people affirmed each person and I couldn’t stop rejoicing over what the Lord had done this past year. As a core group leader, I was blessed enough to see the fruits of my labor at the end of this year. And after leading my second year, I recognize how truly special this group of girls are and that only by God’s grace we were able to get this close to one another. It can take more than one year to start seeing the fruit. And that is OK! That was something I had to learn for myself and was expectant towards the possibility of that happening again. The hours spent writing each handwritten note during fall blitz, coordinating with bro/sis leaders, prioritizing one-on-ones, juggling 3rd year nursing, and continuously dying to oneself was and is all worth it though because He is worth it. He is worthy of it all. The three girls I discipled affirmed me and it was magical. It’s been a joy to see them tangibly grow in their faith and go on to share that with others.
Katie: steadfast love, from going from a non touch person to a “oh yay i get to hug laura”, pursing so well even when she didn’t want to be in chi alpha and do the same thing as nat, being the first person to offer to share her eno even being on the higher tree, being welcoming, challenging her faith and to do devotional time
Kyla: texting about mnl, low key guilt tripping me, being mom/supporter means a lot being out of state, opening up house to stay for sicm, being so welcoming and pursuing even when she didnt come out to mnl/cg in the beginning, meeting up fun
Jay: telling the hard stuff even when it hurts, being persistent, and knowing the first question I’m going to ask when she returns from summer break
We got our CG photoshoot done before semiformal by my lovely housemate Hayley. We took them in a garden and they turned out beautiful! Afterwards, we ate at Waffle House with our bro/sis core groups and then danced the night away at Semiformal. It was a beautiful thing to feel totally at ease dancing like a mom with my core group and beloved friends. I felt a surge of nostalgia come over me, when the fourth years went into the middle of the circle during Lean On Me. These were the first people who pursued me in college. They radically showed Christ’s love for me and the plans He has for my life. There are not enough words for me to express my gratitude for the class of 2017, which brings me to the last MNL of my third year.
UVA chi alpha has a tradition of having the graduating fourth years walk in a progression like they would for graduation. This is a chance for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years to cheer as they take their seats in the front as the worship band plays some music. The class was split between the two aisles but I watched as Marcellus, Clara, and Debbie walk past me. I started to tear up. My heart so full of gratitude not only for God’s goodness in placing these people in my lives, but for the many hours they gave to pour into me. Marcellus was one of the first men in Chi Alpha who I became close to and showed me how valuable opposite gender friendships can be. Clara was my first year core group leader and my first mentor. She met up with me every.single.week. And Debbie who showed me how to love unconditionally and serve others well, even when it seems like no one is appreciative of it. There are many more people I could talk about in the class of 2017: Ashley, Jenny, Brian, Katherine, Hannah S, Sarah L, and Tyler K.
Philippians 1:3-11 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…”
My core group also got me and my co-leaders the sweetest gifts!!! They paid for our cg t-shirts, gave us each different bags of candies, and a framed picture of our core group with affirmations written on the edges. All the feels. After MNL, we took one last photo of all of us with our cg shirts in front of the Chi Alpha sign.
1 Thess 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”