In spite of what the calendar suggests, February felt like the longest month of my internship! Several things happened this month that I'd like to share with y'all.
A couple of weeks ago we had our parent night/open house. This was an opportunity to invite parents, mentors, and other friends to see our ministry and to spend the night honoring their impact. Matt posted about it so y'all should read what he had to say! I'd just like to echo what he said about it – it's nice to hear from parents what changes they've seen God work in their children since getting involved in our ministry. One of my personal favorite parts of the night is when one of our students shared about how he came to know Christ through the love and friendship of Christian students. This is the reality of our campus ministry - we're about spreading the Gospel to students from all backgrounds.
Switching gears, we also had Valentathalon this month. This is an event that's designed to be a way of getting the community together to laugh and dance together and just another route to building new relationships. Something I love about UNT students is how energetic they are – and Valentathalon brought that out of them in a beautiful way.
From the perspective of one of the people “planning” the event, I just had to laugh at myself – because all of the hard work was really done by the students. They kept the event going in new and wacky ways beyond what I thought it would look like - and part of that is me still getting used to UNT compared to UTD. As much as I love my Comets, I have to say, they'll stand around awkwardly not knowing what to do, while a group of UNT students will just start building a human pyramid.
The other thing that really impacted me this month was having the opportunity to preach. The verse that comes to mind is James 3:1 - “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Being in such a position is a sobering experience for me – and though I've led small groups and mentored many young women over the past few years, I have to say that this was a very different experience. In a small group, if I'm not clear about something, it's easy enough to check in with group; when talking to a hundred people, I have to be a lot more precise in my planning as well as scanning the room for visual cues.
The biggest thing that I wanted to share with y'all, though, is what God taught me through that experience. Part of what my sermon was about was trusting that God can and will make us new. And as I was preparing for this, praying over it and really seeking what God wanted me to share with our students – it became clear that I didn't fully believe it. That there were things in my life I'd resigned myself to putting up with, and I hadn't surrendered it to God or asked anybody for help. And I am still so thankful that Matt, Amy, Brandon, and Mandy trusted in me enough to let me preach, and to Ronnie for all the work he's done with the interns to train us. I feel like I'm finally giving some things up to God because of this experience. Afterwards it was a peculiar feeling as a couple of people told me how the sermon related to something in their lives, and being reminded again that I was just a pencil in God's hand.
At the end of March, we're having a group of students from Western Washington University spend a week with us and help out with on-campus evangelism and just continue to build community and share how God has made things new in our lives. Please be praying for these students as they prepare to visit us and for our campuses to be open to talking about Jesus!