Thursday, June 2, 2016

Oh, hey, it's June!

Unreal beauty in Washington

Summer is Here! 

I am thrilled that it's the summer! Summer is one of my favorite times of the year because of how different it is from the school year. I get to hang out and build relationships with my students in a more relaxed way. We have Summer FOCUS and other weekly events where all of the campuses in the metroplex are together. And I get to spend way more time catching up with each of my ministry partners. It's such a good break from how the semesters are and by the end of the summer, I'm refreshed and ready to be back to "normal."

A lot of fun things happened in May, but three of my favorites this year were our Spring Formal, my final peer team hang out, and going to SICM! A few pictures from the formal and my peer team hang out will give you a nice little taste of why they were my favorites! 

Final peer team hangout - literally everything went wrong! These gals are the best and we had a blast regardless!

Love these beautiful women!
Everyone dancing the Cupid Shuffle

Sweet Sarah! I'll miss her when she's at UTD this year.
But I do have a student's testimony from her experience at SICM that I want to share with you this month.  Sam Pruitt is a junior in Integrative Studies at UNT. Within this last year, she's gotten really serious about her faith and that was a huge reason of why we invited her to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry.

Sam's Story

Our last day in Washington
So I was pretty conflicted when I was invited to SICM. My first thought was that I wasn't "Christian enough" to attend a conference for campus ministry. I wasn't raised in a Christian home and had only recently started to consider seriously pursuing a relationship with God. I'd been struggling with the idea of not being "Christian enough" for a while - I thought I wasn't Christian enough to buy a FOCUS t-shirt, I thought I wasn't Christian enough to give my all during worship, and the list goes on. 

On the Plane!

The day of SICM registration, I texted two of my friends, Hayli and Tate, and told them I was unsure about signing up. They asked "Why?" and before I could respond, Hayli replied (with something along the lines of)  "If it's because you think you're not good enough, that's not true. And if that's the only thing holding you back, then I think you should go."

SICM Selfie!

So I went and I came back changed. God did a lot of work in me over the trip and I can now say (and know) that I am enough and God wants to use me to help and reach people. I know now that there isn't an imaginary "How Christian Am I?" scale. When I went to SICM, I was teetering on the edge of doubt and committing to beginning a relationship with God -- and to better show you how going to SICM changed me, I want to share something I wrote during a worship night we had:

God, how mighty You are --

how great are Your hands which crafted this earth, and which lift us to You --

Your hands which hold us, Your heart which loves us abundantly.

God, I am so thankful that I was wrong about You.  
I am so thankful for how You have always pursued me without giving up. 

Without You, Lord, I would be floating and grasping empty air, only to be handed temporary, unsatisfying substitutes. 

God, I thank you for how You shield us from hurt, 
how You call us away from temptation. 
God, I was so lost, so stagnant, and you found me amidst the dirt and grime of sin. 

 God, how good, how great, how bold You are. 

I rejoice in Your name. I rejoice in Your power, in Your love, in Your forgiveness 
despite my stumbling --

thank you for running and reaching towards me, Lord.

I am glad, joyful to finally meet You and begins to know You, Lord. 
How good. 

You have been waiting for me, Lord, and now --

I am here. 

View of Seattle from Queen Anne's Park

 Wow, right? I love what the Lord showed her while she was there and I can't wait to see how it's lived out with her peers on our campus.

Ways to Pray in June

Student Leaders: We have begun the process of making our leader teams for each of our campuses. This is quite a challenging process, because we have such a unique problem...we have way too many capable and trained students who would make great leaders! If we took every student who could potentially lead this next year, we've have almost 100 student leaders. But our goal is quality, not quantity, and there is no way we could adequately and deeply mentor 100 student leaders between the six of us on staff in Denton. So now we pray and have conversations to see who the Lord is leading to this team. I would love for you guys to be in prayer with us, too! This process will take the majority of the summer to complete! 

Fundraising: This is such a fun, but also stressful time for me. I love getting to see my friends and to update people on what's going on in the ministry and my life! But it can still be quite an uncomfortable experience, if I allow myself to get into a negative place. Please pray that I remember that the Lord has always provided and that I stay in a positive attitude! Also pray for our new interns who are in the process of raising funds for the next year and have to be at 75% by July 1st.  

I love you guys and am so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for continuing to support me and cover this ministry in prayers! 

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