This past weekend, I was blessed enough to attend my final Discipleship Weekend with the Navigators. Although I only attended two of the past four, it has always been, by far, my favorite retreat the Navigators puts together. Fall Conference is wonderful and it is always exciting to compete against other campuses in the Navs Olympics, but Discipleship Weekend has a special place in my heart. Let me tell you why.
I joined Navigators at the very end of my freshman year in college. I didn't really do much with them, but I knew I wanted to be more involved the next year. As a sophomore, I was asked to do the comedic announcements at NavNite with Nikhil, a man who has now become one of my closest brothers in Christ. This minor involvement led to me becoming extremely involved and, at the end of the fall semester, I was asked to go through New Leader Training to become a small group leader the following fall. The selected few were asked to come to a secret meeting, where we were given roses and letters upon arrival by the two current leaders (Stephanie and Cristin) and the Navs staff member, Mark Bruner. The whole thing was beautiful. That night, I left NavNite in tears. I was filled with joy, and I knew God had chosen this path for me for a reason.
|Discipleship Weekend (Key Laborers) 2011|
|Discipleship Weekend 2013 - look how much we've grown!|
Save me from the walls that I build
From the broken heart inside of me
That just will not heal
Save me, when it's hard to believe
And the faith I need
Is so far from the world that I see
Won't you save me from myself
"Save Me," Nate Sallie
|The four of us - me (top), Nikhil (middle right), and Jack and Sean (bottom left and middle) in 2011|
|The four of us at Discipleship Weekend in 2013|
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in you
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
"Beautiful Things," Gungor
I also appreciated getting to know Kathleen, my former resident (I was her RA last year in Husman Hall), a lot better. She was my spiritual buddy this weekend, and we had some conversations I never expected to have this weekend (but really enjoyed!). She helped me begin to process through one of my current struggles, and she opened up to me about her personal struggles. It was a blessing to talk with her.
During my person time of listening prayer, God confronted me about some issues I don't want to face.
I am currently considering applying for EdgeCorps, which is essentially a one to two year internship with the Navigators. I would most likely return to Xavier in the fall and work as a staff member to help lead and further student's relationships with God. The thing that worries me is fundraising - I'm not allowed to work, and I have to fundraise my entire salary for the year before returning to campus. 75% of this needs to be fundraised over the summer, or I won't be allowed to come on staff. 75% of my salary is around $27,000.
This is an outrageous number, and it worries me. However, I still want to take that leap of faith, trust God, and apply for the position.
Won't You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up
I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone
"Lead Me," Sanctus Real
God also brought to my mind the idea of taking a six-month break from dating anyone to simply pursue Him. A girl in my small group, Daniela, is doing this and is currently at the halfway mark. I bought the book she suggested and have begun to read it, and so far, I am enjoying it. But, really? Take a six-month break from thinking about guys, having a crush, or pursing someone? This is challenging for me because I've always wanted to date someone (not anyone specifically, just in general) from Xavier and within Navigators - someone who loves my school and God as much as I do. With only a few months left at Xavier, that doesn't exactly put me in a place to go on a six-month dating hiatus. However, it's been on my heart the past few days, and I think it could be good for me. It's something I have to pray about a lot more, but I'm starting to grow into the idea.
Finally, we reach reflection time - something always extremely touching and powerful for me. As usual, the girls are clutching toilet paper, ready for the massive amounts of crying that is about to happen. Landen makes his usual speech - he doesn't talk much, except for at reflection times, when what he says is always profound and has some deeper meaning we all love to hear. Some of the men share about their personal struggles, and the seniors reflect on how much they will miss NAVs when we all graduate. One of my closest friends this year, a freshman named Tyler, and I cried on each others shoulders. Without sharing too much of what people revealed, I will simply say that it was a reflection that left me contemplative and very sad about my impending departure from the Navigators community.
So, there you go - a really, really wordy story about why I love Discipleship Weekend. Thank you to everyone who made it so memorable - I love you more than you know. I pray God will be able to use me in your lives throughout the rest of this semester. Thank you for always being there for me!