I visited Lee University this weekend: catching up with friends, seeing professors, and pouring into these people I love again. It was an intense 48 hours as my days were scheduled by 30 and 60 minute increments from 6am-11pm. Now that I’ve caught up on sleep and had time to think, I am so grateful and blown away by all that happened this weekend.

You never know what you have till it’s gone. I knew my life at Lee was amazing, but I still had no clue how good I had it. Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been on the East Coast, West Coast, and the heart of America. I’ve been with different organizations and different people. It’s been peculiar- everywhere I go, when I’m talking about graduating from Lee, it becomes: “Oh! You went to Lee??  That’s amazing, I’ve heard so much about it. How was it?” Etc. Almost as many people know about Convergence (the ministry that runs the Prayer Room at Lee) and what’s been going on the last few years there. It astounded me: people everywhere talk about this University. They talk about the Prayer Room there, the students that are making it happen, and all the other incredible things coming out of it. It humbled me to realize how much of an inspiration Lee University and what the Lord is doing there is to other University students, to Houses of Prayer, and to ministry leaders who are pouring their lives into young adults. It’s not that we’re special. We’re so goofy, mess up a lot, have no clue what we’re doing. Those of us who have been part of it, and those who continue, merely live by grace, hearing the Lord and simply obeying. That’s why the testimony of how God is moving there in salvation, power, healing, encounter, intimacy, hours upon hours of students engaging in the prayer room, is an inspiration to so many. They see how weak we are and that God used us, and they say “Well, they’re goofy and normal. If God can use them for all that, He can definitely use me!”

I went to a college worship night at the Chattanooga House of Prayer. A few months ago when we’d do it, it was normally the Lee band, with 20 Lee students there, and 4 students from surrounding colleges. This time there were probably 50 students there, and Lee students were not the majority. I almost started crying when I walked in: everyone was so lost in worship, singing their hearts out, loving Jesus.  We’ve prayed and longed to see this- I knew it would happen one day, but I’ve only been graduated 3 months- I didn’t know it would be so soon. It’s beautiful! God is bringing together the colleges in the southeast and beginning the work of raising up houses of prayer and sending out radical lovers of Jesus from college campuses.

I realized how much deeper I could’ve know the people around me. I was telling many how I am going to SouthEast Asia. Now I’m finding out everyone and their mom has been there and has connections. One of my old bosses even pulled out paper and drew me a map of the neighborhood I’ll be in! I had no clue anyone had been there, and this weekend I got to hear so much about people’s travels, stories, memories, relationships, etc. I had such good conversations and heard about my friends’ and professors’ lives in a way I never would have known otherwise. Even people I felt I knew decently well, I had no clue they’d been on the other side of the world.

I’m so grateful for the faculty Lee has- I was (am) so blessed!! SO many professors were excited I came to see them and they made time in their busy schedules to just talk and catch up. But one meeting caught my attention. I was standing in the Vice President’s office.  He was taking a call, so I started looking through the bookshelf. You know what I saw? Not a lot of self-help books, business books of how to grow your institution, organizational leadership, etc. There were a handful of those, but they were in the corner of the bottom shelf- not the most recently read. On the primary shelf were numerous books on the Sermon of the Mount. That’s what the Vice President studies and lives. The rest of his shelves were filled with Bible commentaries, etc. He’s studying the Scripture, and especially diving in to the Sermon on the Mount. It’s so rare to find faculty and staff like that anywhere. And he’s not the only one- most of the professors and staff running the school are like that. I think that is a large reason the University is so blessed.

I saw the fruit of my labors, and it’s just the beginning. I went to the Ekballo Initiative, a small group I helped start and co-lead last spring. They’re now studying the Gospel, doing evangelism, double the size we were last year, and the majority are guys (last year we had 1 guy). They’re so passionate and radical, have a huge heart for the lost, and are running hard after the Lord. The beauty of pioneering and discipleship is that you get to do the hard work of starting it, then pass it off to someone who can run harder and faster than you could have ever imagined doing. I am SO proud of these guys! And I am so humbled to see what the Lord had done through our weak attempts to obey. I got to see SO much more fruit though. Too many things for me to recount. I saw so many answers to the things we prayed for for years. Things which I knew would come, but I never expected it to be so soon; either they’re already happening, or the plan is slowly being worked out. But the best fruit I got to see? The people. Nothing excited my heart more than seeing the other students I had loved and poured into being totally in love with Jesus, stepping up in leadership, discipling others, and doing radically obedient things. I’m so happy! It is such an honor and privilege that I got to invest (and will continue to as I can!) in such incredible men and women. These are the people who will change the world, because they love so deeply. It encourages me to see that the fruit of my labor has been multiplied way greater than I was able to invest. But the important part of discipleship? Even if I didn’t have much to offer, I DID invest.

 

My conclusion about my Alma Mater: It was worth it; it was fruitful. Every prayer will be answered. Every tear shed has softened the ground. Every seed planted will bear fruit for the next generation. Every push to go a direction others had not before gone has created a new path for students after me. Every conversation affected someone’s perspective. Every hug helped someone make it through. Every hour invested is increasing 100 fold. Every person I loved is precious to Jesus. It was worth it.

Advertisements