Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leadership Retreat

I haven't blogged in a month, mainly because I've been so busy with school and Chi Alpha, but this weekend was so great I can't help but talk about it.

A few weeks ago I was invited to go on the annual Leadership Retreat, meaning my dgroup leaders had decided I was ready for a leadership position with Chi Alpha. I hadn't thought about it much, so I was kind of surprised, but absolutely excited.This last weekend was the retreat, and we set out to camp and float the Buffalo river. Of course it rained the entire time, but we still had a blast. On a completely social side of things, I had so much fun goofing off with friends, old and new. I met so many new people and got to get to know my old friends even better. I typically avoid girls and gravitate toward guys, so this weekend I tried to break that and before we left I could tell you the names of all but a handful of the people there.
It was just so good to see things in a different light. I've always viewed Chi Alpha members as my family, my brothers and sisters, but in our girl time by the fire we discussed what that should look like. If these girls are my sisters, I should trust them. I should confide in them. I should love them unconditionally. But as girls, we really don't trust other girls. Mainly because of our own insecurities. We think they will judge us because we judge them.
And it was amazing to start seeing Chi Alpha as more than just an organization. We have a level of trust and love that is hard to find these days. We truly desire to serve each other and lift each other up. Our guys are such amazing guys. When I go to class and I see other guys who aren't my brothers, I'm simply struck by how awesome our guys really are. How much God's love shines through them and genuinely changes them. I guess this is best summed up in an email I sent to a friend earlier:

"XA is just such an amazing family. Even if I've never met you or I don't know your name, you're still family and I still love you deeply. It's hard to explain or describe if you've never felt it. And our guys are so amazing. Such amazing brothers who love to serve us. Last night while we were having girl time and they were having guy time, they just out of the blue formed this assembly line and brought half the forest up to build our fire. We were SO thankful because it was freezing. That's just a simple example of how they serve us everyday as brothers. That's another thing that's hard to describe if you haven't experienced it. They're so amazing, and not in an "i have a crush on you" way. Apparently this year for Valentines Day all the single guys in leadership made handmade invitations and hand delivered them (dressed up) to invite the single girls to dinner and when the girls showed up they gave them each roses and made them dinner and served it to them. It wasn't a romantic "i'm trying to woo you" was just "you are our sisters and we want you to know how special you are and we didn't want you to be alone."

Just to acknowledge how deep these bonds go and how completely unique and special they are was a wonderful thing to me. I'll never view anyone I see the same again. And I'm really going to try to see all of them as my brothers before I see them as anything else. I have a tendency to "mini-crush". I've never had a godly relationship and now I'm surrounded by dozens of truly wonderful guys and my worldy desire is to fall in love with one of them, but I know that I'm not ready for that and that right now is my time to learn to be completely content on God's love. But even though I know that, I still mini-crush, so my personal goal now is to genuinely view these guys in my life as my brothers, because they absolutely are.

I feel like my words aren't even beginning to describe how I feel and what I realized this weekend, but it will have to do and I'll most definitely try to blog more often, because it's cathartic and I know I'll want to look back in a year from now and see where I was.



Jared Bridgman said...

I knew there was a reason I started following your blog, considering that when I started following you I barely knew you. We've only known each for a few weeks and have only really been hanging out and stuff in the last two weeks, but I already love you. You are my sister in Christ and to see what God is doing in your life in the short time I've known you is very encouraging and exciting. I can't wait to hang out with you more at Project Retreat, and Africa is gonna be amazing, just saying.

I really only have close relationships with a few choice girls in XA and I'm already proud to say that you are one of them. Much like you were saying, I have too long looked at interactions with my sisters as, "How can I impress these girls so they will like me?" God has really revealed to me that this is not the attitude I should have. I should serve my sisters because as a man of God I am supposed to love my sisters in the same way Christ loved the church.

I have experienced this love in my life during this semester in ways I had never thought possible, so I have really been praying for God to change my heart and my attitude in that.

You are an awesome person and I will be praying for you in expectation of God doing some awesome stuff in your life and I consider it an honor and privilege to get to see the changes and be a part of it.