Coming into college, I had no idea what to expect.
I remember arriving on campus feeling totally lost and out of place. I had never visited campus before, I knew exactly one person at Georgetown, and I had only been accepted about two months earlier from the extended waitlist. On top of that, I arrived to NSO a day late because my flight got cancelled. When I finally did get onto campus, my Orientation Advisor texted me and told me to meet him on the seventh floor of Village C West. I didn’t know, however, that there were two wings in VCW and I chose the wrong wing. I finally found him, my room, and all the other things that a new student needs to find during Welcome Week, but at this point I was feeling quite overawed by the whole of my college experience.
In the following weeks I was still feeling that same sense of being eager, yet very overwhelmed. I found my peace soon, though, in the renewed fire for God I was getting due, in large part, to the ministry of Chi Alpha. When I heard the testimonies of my fellow students, joined in worship at Open Tables, listened to Jon’s sermons, and fellowshipped with my brothers at Life Group on Monday nights, I began to delve deeper into my relationship with God. I began a daily habit of Bible reading and prayer; almost every morning I spend between 20 minutes and one hour in St. William’s Chapel in Copley Hall in time devoted to God. The prayer time has been especially impactful on my life, and it’s something I’ve never done consistently before.
Through these things I’ve felt closer to God during my short time here at Georgetown than I ever have before. The effects are real and incredible. I’m being challenged in my faith to change certain things about me that have no place in the life of a follower of Jesus. I’ve had prayers answered; my brother has gone from a person who was completely lost to a genuinely and profoundly changed person. I am relaxed, happy, and at rest in God. These things I attribute to the deepening of my relationship with God and His grace.
Another thing I found in Chi Alpha that really impacted me in my first semester was the friendships I made in it. It’s great to find a group of people who are chasing after God and run this race with them. We weren’t meant to do life alone; the people in Chi Alpha have been an incredible encouragement to me. Chi Alpha is a family.
Following God isn’t easy and it’s not a commitment anyone should take lightly. The Lord gives and takes away. But what He gives will far outweigh anything He takes away. Immeasurable joy, comfort, peace, hope, strength, and love are available to those who choose to pursue God.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)