Sharing Life at Uni

We were singing this song at church the other morning and it immediately reminded me of this video – a video that stirs my heart and bring tears to my eyes every time I watch it. And whilst singing I looked around and saw students getting alongside each other and praying together.

This was just one reminder of how much I love working with students.

University is front line stuff. You’re thrown into an environment where everyone is away from home; many for the first time. And you’re living, working, eating, drinking, socialising together. You can’t escape each other’s lives and the influence that those lives might have on you.

Maybe this is why Christian students are so quick to get alongside each other. To support each other, encourage each other and build each other up. To have those crazy nights indoors or even out under the stars when others are out drinking, to have those people to share those really quiet campus moments with on a Sunday morning on the way to church and to be with when you just feel like a complete failure and need the reminder of the hope and grace in Jesus.

There’s no other time in life when you’re living like this, so close to many different people.

I know coming to uni, meeting so many new people and in that becoming good friends with a lot of Christians my age that were really serious about their faith was a brand new experience and I think a pretty unique one in life too.

It was amazing to have other people around to build me up and point me to Jesus. I loved the prayer and worship times we had together and the endless deep conversations of many questions late into the night. And you can probably guess who was asking all the questions! It was great to truly do life with these people, through the so many ups and downs that uni throws at you.

I’m also really grateful for the closeness I felt we had as a year on my degree. Day after day, class after class, needing the support from each other through the emotional, physical and mental drain that you feel in a dance degree.

University is never boring. I had friends I could go to whenever, so many houses I could just walk into. I was never stuck for something or someone to call on.

Everyone helped me in some way and I just want to emphasise the influence and impact that an environment as special as this, with people living so close and truly sharing lives together can have.

I want to encourage the Christian students I know (and those I don’t) to see this uni experience as such an exciting opportunity! To share your lives with those friends that know Jesus, but also to share them just as much with those that don’t. There’s something special about seeing the full life of someone, what they love, what they struggle with, what makes them tick, what keeps them going. Why do they live the way that they do?

Don’t underestimate the effect you can have on others around by living differently and inviting people into that. Support each other as followers of Jesus, but don’t retreat into a ‘Christian bubble’, fully share your lives with many others around. You’ll be surprised of the impact you can have and actually how open people are when you’re so open with them!

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My Relay Year

For my last relay conference we had to do a 3 minute presentation on our year, I decided to write a poem, so here it is…

RELAY
What can I say?
A full 10 months condensed into 3 minutes of a day
The highlights
The lowlights
The bits in between
A bit of an up and down year it would seem.

But here I am looking back at it all
Knowing that it was God’s call
I’ve studied pretty hard
Learning so much doctrine
Thinking how great is grace and how deep is sin

I’ve met up with students
Ones that are all pretty keen
Building them up and together as a team
We point each other to Jesus
Looking into his word
From Genesis to John and the Holy Spirit as a bird

Falmouth events are always quite fun
Especially out on the beach sat in the sun
With endless free meals
Open mics and lunch bars
I feel equipped to make small talk with even people from Mars

The constant question of “Why does God kill?”
Through ‘text a’ events
With people looking at issues through a search on Google
That verse in 1 Samuel, Exodus, Joshua even
I can recite in my sleep a reason for wiping out a nation

I think one of the things I’m going to most miss
Is weekly supervision
Despite it’s challenges
That person that can see right to your core
Pushing things further when you don’t think there’s more
I’m incredibly grateful for those challenging times
Shaping you and moulding you, and something else that rhymes
I loved many hours spent in cafes
Chatting and studying and drinking lattes
I’ll miss my staff worker and how much she was there
Through questions and excitement and times I couldn’t bare.

Falmouth CU are such a great bunch
Some look up to me, some after me, some even cook me lunch
They want to share Jesus
And put on events
Making my life easier with no bribery attempts

I love deep conversations and questions and thoughts
And thinking through what Jesus says about arts and sports

I think that’s actually a big thing that I will take away
That there’s no subject where Jesus has nothing to say
He has dominion over the earth and the sky
Caring about everything from the lowest to the high
He came down into our filth
Bringing us hope and new life
He sets us free from our sins and trouble and strife

I’ve learnt a lot about God’s divinity
And obviously can go in depth on the doctrine of the trinity
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one
These amazing truths we’ve got to think on
We’re invited into the perfect family
Of overflowing love and life and full security
We’re covered by grace
By the blood of the lamb
And this I will take away when Relay is gone

These everlasting truths
I pray won’t leave my heart
That they’ll lift me and assure me on each day I start

And when I begin to think it’s something I’ve done
I’ll come back to the cross
And look at the Son.