“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”-E.E. Cummings
This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity of serving as a camp counselor for the summer orientation program for incoming freshmen at Auburn University: Camp War Eagle. After 189 days, we finally finished our training in Foy 189. It almost seemed unreal. I made 61 new friends throughout the process who really challenged me and became my comfort zone. We became so close and, sometimes, were referred to as a “cult.” (lol) We plastered social media with our #CWEconnect(s) and a picture of every session. If every counselor posted a picture, 36 x 10, there would have been at least 360 pictures on instagram plus our social outings… yeah, we are just a *tad* bit sorry! But behind all those pictures were a special bond that was created. Late night bike rides + other shenanigans, lake martin, volunteer events, rooms in El Dorado filled with CWEple, movie nights, skit practice, AYO, road trips, random adventures, venmo, karaoke, a million Group Me-s, and on and on and on. I thought it couldn’t get better than this.
And then I was able to meet 121 new people coming to Auburn (:
Wow. What an experience!! It was filled with fun, laughter, challenges, pep rallies, jumping around, zero sleep, tiger talks, over 150 miles of walking, and weird tan lines.I felt as I have grown more in the past two months than my two years at Auburn. These 121 people made more of an impact than they could imagine. They laughed at my weird jokes, danced and sang karaoke with me, and allowed me to be myself. As a new session approached every time, I was always nervous and worried about how these people were going to think of me. In the end, I found myself sad when they had to leave for registration. Every session was unique in its own way: some quieter than others, some sassier than others, and some “wilder” than others — but they were each an incredible group of people that I had so much fun with. I would to apologize to sessions 1-4 that I lacked a speaker and to sessions 5-10 that my taste in music is quite terrible. Thank you for such a memorable summer.
I can’t wait to see how freshmen year goes and all the amazing things you all will be doing on Auburn’s campus. I am so blessed by 121 new friendships.
After a long month at college, I finally had the chance to go back to my hometown to see my family and friends. During this short visit, I had a conversation with a sweet adult friend of mine, Mr. Jim. As we were talking, we began to talk about how college was going and how my relationship with God has grown in college. As our conversation progressed, he told me about something that happened to him.
While directing traffic as a state trooper, a car going about 70 mph hits him. While laying on the ground in pain, a civilian comes up and asks for his name while he is on the phone with 911. After telling the civilian his name, the civilian saids “You got what you deserved.”
I can’t imagine the flush of emotions that would go through me if it was me in that situation. He was a state trooper — so it is pretty much his job to patrol highways and roads to ensure safety and write tickets to those who may threaten the safety of others on the road. Obviously, somewhere down the road, this civilian may have received a ticket or so from the state trooper. I was so flustered when I heard about the incident. He continues with his story…
As he laid in the hospital, he reflected upon what happened out there. First, he was alive. God was definitely with him. Second, the first person arrived at the scene who happened to “help” was someone who was not in favor of him and said something that was really hurtful. In the ER with a room full of doctors, nurses and law enforcement officers, he asks if he could pray with everyone. He prayed to God and thanked him for being with him — and he prayed for the man who called 911 and told God he forgave him the things he said.
I was imagining how powerful that prayer must’ve been. While laying there, he could’ve been angry, but he chose to be thankful and forgiving.
Now, I am reflecting upon his choices and his actions. In last week’s small group, my friends and I were discussing how we are one little character in God’s movie. Our lives are not about us but about what God can do through us. We are put on this earth to do things that glorify His name. God loves us so much and wants us to share that love with others. If we call ourselves Christians, then it is our duty to reflect God’s glory in our actions. 1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” Because God first loved us and accepted our wrong doings, we can step away from other wrong doings to us. God is love — and God not only loved, he gave love. When others mess up, we are called to love and give love to them — and show them mercy, just as God shown us mercy. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.” We are all children of God. He loves every.single.one.of.us — equally. No matter how far or close our walk with Christ is, our God loves all his children the same. Because GOD LOVES EVERYONE, WE CAN TOO.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Continuously pray for those who may seem far from God. It is through prayer that God conforms our hearts to His. Continuously pray about everything. Choose Forgiveness. As Hart Ramsey said: Not forgiving doesn’t stop God from carrying out His plans He has for them, but it does put a pause on your future.
Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Also, Happy Retirement Mr. Jim!