This past Friday I went to Cru. Both of my parents were involved with Campus Crusade for Christ when they were in college. In fact, that’s how they met. That was the organization that sent my family to Turkey back in the day. It was an organization that had a large impact on my life as a child and continues to affect me, so when I was looking at colleges I really wanted a school that had a Cru movement. Well, I hadn’t gone to Cru since I’ve gotten to school until this past Friday.
It was fantastic! I had an absolutely marvelous time. We met in small groups and talked about the people who had the biggest impact on our lives (naturally, I talked about my fabulous and crazy best friend Meesh.) And then we sang.
If you know me, you know that I love to sing. I’m not great at it, but I love it. I think that Music points to our creator. It’s such a beautiful form of worship, to use what God has given you to praise him. And I just love to harmonize and sing with groups of people. It’s like letting your soul speak on its own. (maybe I’m just weird about it, but I just love it.) We sang one of my favorite songs which always reminds me of being at Challenge.
Your love never fails,
It never gives up
It never gives out on me.
In death, in life
I’m confident and covered by the power
Of your great love.
I love this song. I love the words, I love the melody and I love what it means to me and what it reminds me.
Then the speaker, Katie, gave an incredible talk about Jonah being a control freak. Remind me to write about her talk later, because it was fantastic. But today I need to write about something else. I was reading through old blog posts I wrote (I’m in the middle of tagging and categorizing all of my blog posts so that I can look through them more effectively. It turns out that three and a half years worth of almost daily blog posts is a lot to get through,) and I came across this post that I wrote after CORE Reaction this past year. This was something I had forgotten writing and forgotten feeling. But as I read the words that my seventeen year-old self had written I connected with them in a whole new way.
There was a reason I hadn’t gone to Cru until last week. There was a reason I hadn’t made it to church until my parents visited. It wasn’t because I didn’t have time, it wasn’t because I was busy, it was because I didn’t want to. I was so tired of feeling like I was stuck in this rut of going to church, like it was expected of me. I was running. Running from my parents, running from the tough discussions, running from the hard decisions, running from my fears, running from my closest friends, running from my beliefs and, above all, running from God.
I don’t know exactly why, but I know I was. I did a lot of things that I wouldn’t have previously because I was running so hard. I wanted to escape whoever it was that I thought I had been. I was doing what Jonah was doing, hearing what God wanted for me and taking off in the opposite direction. Not just avoiding God or hiding from him, but deliberately running away.
But here’s where those lyrics come back.
Your love NEVER fails
It NEVER gives up
It NEVER gives out on me.
In death, in Life
There’s NOTHING that could separate my heart
From your Great Love.
There’s no running away from his unconditional, undying, unadulterated, unafraid, unapologetic, unending love. That is the promise. A promise that I cling to and trust in like no other.
Being at Cru reminded me of what it is I love about my friends and my church at home. It’s the community. The depth of relationship. The constant encouragement. Feeling like the people there care about you and get you.
I’m feeling my faith come alive again. Like I’m being reborn into something beautiful.
I want to thank you. My parents, Meesh, Anna, Gretchen, Emma, Cindy, Zach, Becca, Bethany, Sharon, Eyla, Tabitha and so many others. Over the past couple of weeks you have meant more to me than I could ever say. You’ve re-inspired my faith. You’ve supported and hugged and cared and listened and been better to me than I will ever deserve. And to Mike, Grace and Kelly: your support has been so different, but so important. You probably don’t even know, but just the little conversations we’ve had about faith have continued to strengthen my beliefs and have shown me that I couldn’t have picked better people to call my friends.
I love you!
It is well with my soul…