It’s Sunday, and I can’t think of a better day to say thank you.
After all of these years, I’ve held a memory of you close, dear to my heart.
You chose me.
I sat amongst a crowd of students on Sunday mornings in that little Lutheran church on campus. I have no recollection of how long I sat anonymously in those pews. A week, a month, a year? I’m really not sure. But the memory my heart retained all these years is the only one important to me now.
One day, seemingly out of the blue, you approached and said you’d noticed me on Sunday mornings. As you scanned the crowded pews, there was something about me that caught your attention. You noticed the way I intently watched and listened. You saw a light go on in my eyes when you preached, you felt I was processing this faith talk differently, more deeply. You saw something special in me, and you invited me to join a special student ministry as a deacon.
I said yes, and spent the rest of my college years as a deacon, assisting and leading worship on Sundays, participating in regular gatherings with 20-30 other deacons, and building my own grown-up faith.
I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t a perfect deacon. There were plenty of Sunday mornings I’d come in to church knowing full well I’d been up really late the night before with the Delts and the Delt Girls. Considering my position as deacon and having grown up by what seems a million light years in my faith since then – I wasn’t always the shining beacon (or deacon) of holiness those days.
But there’s something beautiful about my college years as deacon. Something that speaks the real truth of God’s grace, mercy, and sovereignty, something that attests to His unique plan for each of our lives. Faith isn’t a one stop destination, you get it and you’re good to go for a lifetime. Faith is developed over time, grows through experience, becomes grounded as it’s tested through trials.
I wasn’t a newbie to faith when you found me. I grew up in a Christian home and knew what it was to go to church, Sunday school, VBS, youth group, confirmation, and the like. But when I left home for college, it was time to step into my own grown-up faith, start my own faith journey.
I wasn’t perfect, blameless, holy or complete when you found me. God knew that.
But you chose me. He used me anyway. He grew me anyway.
For this, I’ll be eternally grateful.
Thank you for coming alongside, for guiding me the right way, for seeing deeper and choosing me.
With all sincerity and much more grown up in my faith,
*If you’d like to read more from my #31Days Letters to the Unthanked series, click here for the landing page where all the letters are listed and linked!