Welcome Home

Today was a big day.

Specifically, today was freshman move-in day at school.  Let me tell ya, that looks a whole lot different from the perspective of the second time around.  Where last year, I was nervous and frantic and panicky, this year I was bustling and excited and joyful.  Where last year I was confused, this year I was confident.  Where last year I was becoming a resident, this year I was becoming a resident assistant.

That’s right folks, I am an RA this year.  Which is kind of insane.

The past couple of weeks have been absolute madness, balancing training to become an RA with the actual responsibilities of already being one.  In all sincerity, there were more than a few moments when I was seriously concerned about what exactly I had gotten myself into.  I’m going to mess up.  I am kind of an awkward human being.  I don’t know all of my resident’s names and faces.  I feel underqualified.

But that’s not what God thinks.  He blessed me with an opportunity this year, and sometimes God’s opportunities can seem a little overwhelming.  I still am not sure I quite get the whole scope of what this position is, but I am here and that is not going to change.

Beyond the trepidation though, I am so inexpressibly excited to take on this role throughout the year.  Like I said, it is completely a God thing that I am in this place and I can say with absolute confidence that he is going to do great things with me this year.  That’s not a way of talking myself up or puffing out my chest, that’s complete assurance in the power of Jesus.  He put me in this position because this is where he is going to use me to grow the kingdom, and I could not be more grateful or more eager.

Even better, I get to do this with some of the most caring, inspiring, quirky, Godly, beautiful women I know.  I cannot imagine tackling this year with a better team than the seven other women I have.  They are phenomenal and beyond God using me in great ways this year, he will use them to accomplish incredible kingdom goals.

For weeks, being an RA has been my number one super duper top priority, but even through I was getting the opportunity to meet some of my (frankly fantastic) residents, it didn’t quite sink in until this morning that I am actually, really going to do this.

This morning, there was simply no way around that fact.  Bright and early, girls started pouring in the door, loaded with futons and fridges and a full spectrum of emotions.  Soon the hallways were mazes made of all sorts of treasures that would somehow get packed into the tiny rooms.

It was chaos.

And I loved it.

I have never in my life been this excited or cared this deeply for a whole pack of strangers.  One-hundred eleven new faces, new stories, new girls moved into the place that I call home and began to make it their home too.

That is why I’m here.  Because today I got to meet one incredible human after another.  And because not only did I get to meet them, but I get to help make this place the place where they can thrive.  I get to be a part of their lives and I can’t wait because they have already become a huge part of mine.  So I guess they really aren’t strangers anymore.

It’s easy enough to be  excited for the concept of my residents, but I had no way of knowing what they would actually be like when they got here.  They are better than I had even imagined.  I remember last year when I first moved in that I couldn’t seem to find a single unpleasant person on campus and I figured it was a part of what the school does, but each of my girls is just as friendly and sweet and unique as all of the people who have been on campus for a long time, so I know that though they are new, they are already blessings to this school long before we get the chance to return the favor.

My job today was to welcome these girls in and to help this place become their place.  But with every girl that I moved in or met, with every smile I shared, I felt them settling me into my home even more.  I have no doubt that this year is going to be a great one.

Tonight as I walked down the hallway, I heard voices behind almost every door.  Talking, laughing, bonding. It was the sound of this place coming completely alive again and by some crazy miracle, God has planted me right in the middle of it.

If you need anything to pray for today, thank God for such an abundant blessing in these girls.  Pray for our year, that we form strong, deep relationships with each other and with God.  Pray that we build.  That we are wise and joyful.  Pray that every day feels as big and as important as move-in day.  Because every day is.

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