Everyone who comes into your life is there for a reason. They may be there your whole life, or maybe just for a short while. Either way, your life is altered because of their presence, in some shape or form.
Coming to school two hours away from home was just the beginning of opening myself to the diverse nature of everything that surrounds us. How people
dares you to expand your vision.
But you also find those people who are so alike but come from different places. You meet people from all around the world who may or may not agree on things. And that’s what makes college such a challenge, but also what makes it so beautiful.
Freshman year brought together a group of girls who were placed to live on the third floor of a dorm at Western Kentucky University. We had never met, yet seemed to click immediately. Not long after the semester had started, one of the girls stated that she wanted to start a bible study. She had no idea where to begin, just that she felt she was being led. So every Tuesday night, we walked across the hall into Claire’s room, bible in hand, ready to hear what God had to say through her.
Our friendships molded together as we learned about who God was and what He was doing with our lives. Why were we at Western Kentucky University, miles away from home? What was our purpose for this chapter of our lives? We were all from different states, different towns, with different backgrounds, and here we were, praying together. Since we were new to town, the freshman in our group didn’t have a home church yet. Claire, along with a few other sophomores, led us to Crossland Community Church on Sunday mornings. We fell in love with the church’s mission – A community of refuge and hope for all people – and came together every Sunday morning to carpool to this place of worship. Our pastor, Greg Farrell, got to know our story and how we came together, and even came to one of our Tuesday night bible studies to meet us all. We learned of his testimony, and from then on got to know each others testimony as we grew vulnerable to each others friendships.
We cried together, laughed until we cried some more, and overall did life together. Eventually, when the weather was nice, we would drive to Claire’s aunt and uncle’s house where we would sit around a bonfire on a Tuesday night to switch it up from the monotony of staying in the dorm. This was so peaceful because their house was further out in the country. Living on a college campus made it difficult to find quiet and solitude, so this was a good escape. You feel closer to God when you’re surrounded by stillness and His creation.
One Tuesday night, Claire came to us and announced she was considering being baptized, and if any one of us felt we were being led to be baptized as well, we could share in that moment together. We continually prayed about it, and at the end of the spring semester, three girls announced they wanted to join her.
On May 4th, 2014, all of the girls in our bible study gathered together at the home we came to know so well our freshman year of college. Pastor Greg and families joined us as we celebrated our sweet friends being born again.
In the pool of Claire’s aunt and uncle’s house, four beautiful girls were buried like Christ, and raised to walk in the newness of life.
What a life changing experience for us all.
*The sweetest thanks to Claire for jumping out of her comfort zone and showing us God’s love, no matter how scared or nervous she might have been.
*And an even bigger thanks to all of the girls who were apart of this small group, made me feel at home, and made freshman year one of the best years of my life.