This past weekend, I visited dear friends in Waco, Texas. These girls have loved me more than I thought possible, live for Jesus, and pour themselves out as offerings on a daily basis. They have been the mouthpieces of God more times than I can count, and hold me accountable in every facet of life. These incredible women are my role models and soul sisters. Seeing them again for the first time in 4 months refreshed my spirit and filled my love tank to the brim; after an evening of laughter, snorting (all me), singing, and story-telling, I woke up early the next morning and sat with Jesus. As I sat in my friends’ loft with a warm mug in my hands and the morning sunlight peaking through the curtains, I paid more attention to the Holy Spirit than I had in months. There was no urgency to rush through a devotional, jot down prayer requests, or go through a magical process guaranteed to please God. All I had to do was be still.
Waco was a place where I cursed, questioned, and praised God. Baylor was the place where I felt the deepest intimacy with God, but I realized this Friday that our intimacy stemmed from surrounding myself with His people. Despite recent fire, Baylor is a university that points to God in the details. The architecture, required Chapel classes, and Christian faculty create an environment for faith to flourish. “Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana” doesn’t guarantee an exclusively Christian campus, but it does draw in students who want to find Godly community in college. First semester was one of the loneliest seasons I’ve walked through, as I avoided every club meeting and sorority dinner because I was terrified of rejection.
After Christmas break, I began attending a Campus Crusade Bible study in my residence hall. The study was full of women just like me who wanted to know Jesus more. I had to get over some self-esteem issues, but eventually I started hanging out with them outside of the study. The girls in this group showed me the radiance and splendor of biblical community. Jesus came to give us abundant life, and I believe that a major part of that abundance comes from fellowship with other believers. When those around you are talking about moments they’ve had with Jesus, scripture that inspired them, or God’s movement in their lives, it’s contagious. I get excited to meet the Jesus that my friends have met, and that excitement causes me to want to be still. I struggle the most in my relationship with God when I’m pursuing Him alone, with no community cheering me on and holding me accountable. When I surround myself with Godly people, I want to become a Godly person. When I try to become a Godly person, I’m making myself like Christ, and growing into the woman He created me to be.
I don’t have to come to Waco or join a Bible study to see God’s plan and love, I just have to sit in the quiet beauty of His stillness, and listen. Christian fellowship helps me sit, inspires me to pursue God, and provides friends to hold my arms up when I feel like I can’t worship through a valley. Do you have a Godly community that does this? If not, I urge you to seek one out. The connection will rarely be immediate, but it will come with time if you sacrifice your insecurities and discomfort for the sake of building relationship.
Jesus had twelve.
Who’s walking alongside you?