– John Holler
Dani has two roommates. All three of them are RAs (resident assistants). Jasmine, or Jaz, is 18. She’s hosting Samantha (Sammy). Jaz is vivacious. Sammy is so sweet. Fabiana (Nana) is from Brazil, and she’s hosting Lisa. She’s the senior RA – she’s over Dani and Jaz. It’s cool how they have a chain of command and they all answer to the Deans.
I love them all already. They’re fun and joyful and kind, and I’m excited to become their friends.
After dinner we went to this worship and message thing in an auditorium. It’s different here. Everything the speakers say sounds heartfelt and true. They’re for God; their purpose is to teach their students about him and help them grow in their relationships with him.
– journal entry, April 9.
It is better to light candles than to go around cursing the darkness.
– Dr. Sief
Let’s not bring down faith or love, but let’s elevate hope. There are seasons in life when we lose our faith, but we still have hope. When we lose hope, we’ve given up.
It’s important, too.
My favorite speaker was the man who spoke Friday at the lecture they had right before lunch. His name is Lee Grady and his message was on boldness.
If you’re filled with the Holy Ghost, you don’t have permission to be quiet about your faith. It’s time for the church in America to get loud.
He had three points. He said we have to be bold to speak, bold to praise, and bold to prophesy.
That was when I went to the alter. Like I said in my last post, he called those who were carrying guilt and shame and fear. Judgments. Bitterness.
I almost didn’t go. I almost stayed in my seat and pretended I had my life neatly tied together with a neat little bow on top.
But he was praying for peace, for boldness, for forgiveness and healing over everyone stumbling to the front.
I went. God told me to go, and I went.
Dani and I went off-campus Friday afternoon. We rummaged around an antique shop, drank coffee in a burlap-covered window seat, and ate pie at a stone table with some sparrows. We talked about ex-boyfriends and movies and friends and frenemies and CFNI and just about a million other things.
I love that girl. She’s a rare person. She listens and hears and makes you feel like your opinions, your words, matter.
We came back to the college for the live recording that evening, and that was the most fun worship service I’ve ever been to. Everyone was screaming and jumping and rejoicing and praising, and it was so good.
So very good.
It’s the people, the students and the staff and the faculty. I went in expecting it to be a little bit conservative, a little bit judgy. I knew of some of the rules. I knew not to wear shorts, that guys weren’t allowed in dorm rooms, that there was a curfew. Those were things that would’ve bothered me a year ago, but I know that there’s a reason for them now.
I have never been around such real people before. Such real and honest and raw people who don’t hide their flaws and who love Jesus with their all.
The people there are inclusive. They don’t push you to the outside or ignore you after a polite handshake and “hello.” They talk to you and laugh with you and make you feel comfortable to be around them.
They’re brave. I admire them for that, for their ability to be themselves in a world that tells you you’re not enough if you aren’t pretending. If you can’t put on a show.
There were some people there who were pretending, I’m sure. You can’t ever really find a place where everyone is like that, but. It felt like most of them were open and honest and loving in a God way.
Here’s the plan: I am finishing my associates here, at BC. I’ll be done in a year, by the end of next Spring. I’ll work the summer and save money. And then I’m going to CFNI for a year, or more, but at least for a year. To shore up my foundation. To get the answers to some questions. To grow closer to my Jesus.
And after that?
We’ll answer that when we get there.