Dear Tim: A Letter to the Pastor Who Chose Me {Day 13}

Dear Tim,

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!

  1. Rachel Arntson says:

    Loved it, Amy. In many ways, I think, your experience with the Delts and Delt Girls was part of the spiritual journey. It’s part of what made your faith journey more approachable for other people. You weren’t so “heavenly that you became no earthly good.” Great story, Amy. It is truly a blessing to have that in college. I had a strong faith community as well, and it changed me forever. My story is different, though, and very humbling. I’ll share it with you sometime. 🙂

  2. Kelly Jo Zellmann says:

    Oh Amy ~ this brings tears to my eyes! (Thank you for sharing!) Beautifully written and I can relate back to those days as well as it (college) is such a confusing time of questioning your Faith and learning what/how you want your Faith to look like. But, fun to think back to those first days and weeks at Christus Rex! Both Tim and Kathy have made such impacts on so many young people’s lives ~ they are truly gifts from God, delivering His word, inspiring so many! I remember thinking back to how much I admired you for your strong Faith and always very well thought out words and thoughts, not mention how naturally beautiful you are! It is a gift that you are now sharing with so many! What a blessing. Thanks for sharing this! I haven’t kept up with all your other posts but now I’m intrigued to go and read more:). Thankful for our days together learning about Faith and Life at Christus Rex, Peace ~ KellyJo

  3. Tara Dorn says:

    Amy, I love reading all of your blog posts and this one particularly has struck a chord! Apparently it wasn’t by accident that I stumbled across pictures from our deacon retreats, just this morning! I, too, have very fond memories from Christus Rex and of Tim and Kathy. They made Christus Rex our home away from home. Thank you to both Tim and Kathy! Amy said it better than I ever could, but just know you have made a positive impact on so many lives, and I think of that and you both often.

    Amy, I have a memory of you close to my heart, too. At one deacon meeting during prayers you mentioned me – whatever I did is long since forgotten and is not the important part – but you had written about me in your thankful/grateful journal and thanked God for me. I have never forgotten that moment and it touched me so much that I record blessings (things I am thankful for) in a journal, still to this day. You have such a gift of blessing others and your blog is another way you are now doing that. Thank you for sharing this today! Hugs! Tara

    • Amy says:

      Tara!! Awesome! Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on my blog. I think it’s quite amazing that you stumbled across deacon pictures this morning before you knew the post was going up. When I was searching for a picture of Tim, I ran across those as well and they brought a smile to my face. Those were definitely good times with a great group of people!

      Our home away from home…that’s really true. I remember studying there in the evenings, coming for gatherings on the weekends, hanging out with whoever it was that lived there at the time. It was always cozy and welcoming.

      And regarding your memory of me, the gratitude journal and the prayer time…that’s incredible!! Now I want to go back to that journal and look it up. I’m SURE I still have it somewhere, probably fairly easy to find in fact. Funny thing is, I’ve been following Christian writer/blogger Ann Voskamp at for 3 years 2 months. She is a phenomenal writer, and moves me quite significantly through her daily blog. Her first book is titled “1000 Gifts,” in which which she encourages us to give thanks for the blessings (gifts) in our life, every day. Long before I’d ever heard of Ann, I had a gratitude journal and was counting those gifts in my life. At some point, I stopped recording in my gratitude journal, but found Ann’s blog years later. I’m coming to believe more and more that this notion of gratitude is supposed to be central in my life. So thank you for sharing this story…it really brings this all full circle for me, Tara. Blessings to you, Amy

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