Nineteen years ago as a college sophomore, I walked into the Murray Christian Fellowship house on the edge of campus. I had learned about MCF while compiling a list of campus ministries for the student newspaper. What the campus minister had said during a brief phone call intrigued me. I didn’t know anyone, so I dragged some friends with me because I wanted to go.
Three years later, I graduated with a bachelor’s of science and walked away from that MCF house with a deeper understanding of my faith and some the dearest friends a girl could have.
On a recent Sunday in August, the current student leaders from MCF fill a row of seats near us in church. I held the college memories in my heart as my 7-year-old boy still let me hold his hand in church that same morning. My almost-2-year-old girl was eager to go the nursery and my oldest, who is somehow already 10, sat on my other side. Even so, I remember so much of college like it was yesterday.
God collided what He did long ago
with what He’s doing now.
We’ve introduced our kids to the MCF house recently because our small group painted the front porch and started to haul out trash from the leaking basement. We’ve gotten to know a couple of the current students and hope to spend more time with them. Meanwhile, we are still missing the former student who was my kids’ babysitter but understandably graduated, moved away, and got married in recent years.
I’m grateful our church – which was started out of that same campus ministry more than three decades ago – is still in a relationship with the organization God used to teach me and love me when I was finding my way as a new believer. I sat there in the row of chairs Sunday morning with my kids while others prayed over MCF’s student leaders.
I prayed silently in my head:
Thank you, God, for prompting me through a newspaper assignment to walk the couple blocks from my dorm to the MCF house. Thank you for meeting me there that day, many days in the following three years, and even times since. I love how that ministry and our current church are intertwined and how nobody hesitated to join those students with prayer. Thank you for giving my family the opportunity to serve these kids as they serve you and their peers. Be with the students as they begin a new school year. Let them shine lights and love others for you, God. Let them hold onto the truth of what you’re doing now so they can remember your faithfulness later. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I love living in a college town! I shared yesterday about welcoming college students to my hometown (and wanting to mother some boys I crossed paths with in Kroger). You can also read the letter I wrote last year to Murray State freshmen.