As much as autumn weather is my favorite, I love the rhythms of summer: the porch sitting, cool early morning runs, music festivals, boating, long hikes, kickball games, and driving with the windows down singing my heart out. Summer welcomes a particular type of rest.
Life is a little bit quieter for me in the summertime. Most students have gone home or are away working various internships and summer jobs. However, for those who have stayed in the area, we've gathered for lawn games, a meal, and evening prayer every week with the young adults at Good Sam. It's been a great time to connect and continue to grow together during the summer months. For those who are away, reconnecting when they're in town and hearing all about their summer experiences has been equally joyful. I sat with a student leader last week and heard all about how she's growing and learning through her youth ministry internship in Maryland this summer. We chatted about how we can implement what she's learned into her life back at school and in the life of the church, after all, the things we do do something to us.
In mid-July, the entire CCO gathered for our annual Summer Institute for continued training and institutional wide fellowship. It was great to be reunited with old friends and to reminisce, celebrate, and mourn together. I was reminded how much I love working for the CCO, how much a privilege it is to participate in the work that God is doing on college campuses and in the local church, and how many amazing leadership opportunities I've been offered at such a young age through various trips and cohorts in the CCO. I left feeling challenged, encouraged, and rejuvenated through my time with the staff.
My heart for Christ has grown this summer; my desire to see wholeness and shalom in the world has grown, and with that my heartbreak for brokenness has deepened. I've allowed myself to feel deep joy and deep sorrow, knowing that God is with me and has called me his own and promises to make all things right. This reality gives me courage to lean into the depths of joy and sorrow in the world in the name of Jesus. My prayer is that this becomes a deeper reality for students this year. Would you join me in this prayer?
I hope that the summer months have also brought rest and rejeuvenation for you and those you love.
May God bless you and keep you,