There is so much I want to tell you, but I’m afraid words won’t suffice in expressing how much you guys have impacted my third year and how much I love you all. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I’ve picked out 24 to help narrate my inner dialogue as I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know each one of you.
In the beginning…
1. Follow-ups were hard. We prayed expectantly that God would bring specific girls into our core group, but from previous experiences we understood that there was nothing we could say/do that would ensure you all to come. That’s up to God. And giving up control is hard. It was easier because it was my second time doing it and I knew what to expect, but still nerve-wracking. I distinctly remember being encouraged when I saw Maddie put the flower we gave her in a plastic Papa John’s cup though. Thus starting, “flower cup”. The joy it provided brought perspective back into the picture. We were doing this, not for our own glory but for His glory. I also knew Kyla was going to be my friend when I saw her write down the date of MNL on her little whiteboard when we first came to visit her.
2. Fall Retreat made me nervous and hopeful. I started to see things start to click in some of you that being a Christian in college would look differently than it did in high school. It triggered some of you guys to make a switch to become more intentional with your faith, but not knowing where to start. Also, I was nervous some of you guys wouldn’t come back after the cellphone talk. Moral of the story: stick up for God even when it’s socially awkward because He’s got your back.
3. Winter Semi-formal. We had our little dance circle and it was V cute.
4. Not knowing if Maddie was going to come back to CG but praying, while taking this photo, that she would and that it’d be fine that I low-key pushed her to come to WMS with me even though we got stuck in ATL for 2 days and slept on the cold floor of a church. Oops.
5. Praising God when we got back home from WMS and I got this snapchat. He is so faithful.
Coming back from Winter break…
6. Exponential growth. I wrote a whole blog post on it here! Y’all were being more open with one another, planning outing on your own, and it was such a noticeable shift in the way you guys interacted with each other.
7. Winter Retreat. More realizations and visions on how to share your guys’ faith at UVA!
Personalities being exposed in CG….
8 and 9. Being so happy that Faith bought us Insomnia cookies for core group and feeling overwhelmed. SO MUCH JOY!
10. BECOMING A SNAPCHAT STICKER!!!!
11. SEEING ALL OF US BECOME SNAPCHAT STICKERS! My heart ❤ Peep at how many snaps were already being sent in our group snap after half a day. Fun fact: I re-downloaded snapchat because of you guys.
12. Kyla bringing Ben and Jerry’s to core group as well as cups and spoons for us! This was when I realized you guys were taking ownership of CG and making it what you guys wanted it to be. As core group leaders, we were truly just discussion facilitators now. Y’all were starting to set the standard for a Christ-centered core group (with yummy snacks) on Wednesday nights.
13. Dying over Jay’s fan but low-key thinking it was kinda cute. Keep doing you, Jay.
14 and 15. Starting a Savage Sisters group Snapchat. Honestly, the best decision we made all year. Now I could get regular updates of all of the acorns and your lives. Seeing a lot of the snaps being of you guys together also made my heart warm. We were no longer just members of the same core group but FRIENDS!!!
16, 17, 18. More great snaps sent during finals week and in general. Y’all had me cracking up in Germany and missing you guys! Also, the savagery was off the charts with that snap of John. I was DYING from laughing so hard.
19. Dabbing as a joke to be cool/hip, but it slowly not becoming a joke. Awk. BUT it made for a pretty good pic amirite? LOL (hi Katie)
20. Being congratulated on VP by you guys in groupme. Probably the most humbling experience. I felt so loved.
21. Getting encouraging snaps from Katie while finishing up my 8 page paper. This meant so much to me.
22. Celebrating Baptisms and feeling unashamed of taking this picture with everyone watching me. More on that here!
23. Being facetimed during your guys’ beach week at SICM and mine in Florida. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH TOO MUCH LOVE! GOD IS SO GOOD.
24. Praising up for awesome co-leaders and for being united in having a Christ-centered core group.
I know these pictures aren’t in order of when they occurred, but your journeys as individuals weren’t linear either. They came in bursts of valleys and mountains. There were moments of uncertainty, but many more moments of hope and pure joy! I’ve witnessed you guys affirm and build one another up and most importantly rely on the Lord’s strength when things got too much to bear alone. It’s been a blessing to serve as your core group leader this year and to call you all my friends and sisters in Christ. I look forward to what God has for you all next year and will hold onto these previous memories forever. Thank you for making my third year so memorable and showing me more of God’s heart for His people.