Cedar this year was just…so good. I went into it thinking about really trying to connect with people, wondering how awkward it would be with so few people…and I think, since I have a weird place on VTeam–like, I’m the only Asian girl, and out of the three girls, Rachel and Katelin are really tight, so it’s like…me as the third wheel kind of. I dunno. I went into it thinking that it’s going to be awkward (i think that’s the introverted, awkward turtle side of me), that I didn’t know who I was going to spend my free times with, that I didn’t know who I was going to bond with (although I really did want to bond with Kosi and Meghan), etc. all these weird little insecurities.
And being upset at all the juniors and Carrie for thinking the same things that I’m thinking and then choosing not to go. Man was I upset. Especially because only 16 people total were going. and only 6 girls. (which turned into 7 because Amy Jia was with MEIV) That’s like…less than 1/2 of who went last year, or the year before. And not only that, but the girls were split up!! the 7 girls were in 2 rooms. and our room (Jess Hunt, Katelin, Kosi and I) were in this one room whose door was blocked by the other door and was in the corner so no one knew it existed till we told them…
But it was so good. there was a lot of bonding, even though the girls were split up and we were all apart from the guys and half of us were on vteam, so our free times were eaten up by that…I was kinda worried about that actually. going into it, I didn’t really expect to be using that much free time for our meetings, and so I did wonder about how Jess Hunt, Kosi, Meghan (and now Amy) were going to bond and hang out…but God did a lot, and the last day and thursday we all just played a TON of Mafia (i was Mafia EVERY TIME!!! gah! i always made it far or won, but i kinda got sick of being mafia after a while…lol) and that was SO much fun 🙂 And eating Pat Bing Soo at Kathy’s was fun too!
But God did SO MUCH. In so many ways, in so many areas.
I guess I’ll start with VTeam–
So we had to make our visions for each of our ministries this year, and we planned large groups, and most heavily….we decided what day Large Group should be on. Traditionally, we’ve been on Fridays. That’s how it was when we came in as freshmen, and it was great because we could hang out afterwards and get to know the new people, bond better with the old people, etc. But I really don’t think that we brought our friends to chill if they weren’t already with us at LG (which was hard because not many ppl who aren’t Christian want to come to a Christian event on a Friday night–let’s be honest…)
But last year we made the switch to WEDNESDAY NIGHTS. THAT was a huge shocker. And the way it was conveyed to us was that then we’d have our Friday nights open to chill w/ our non-Xian friends. Which is a good start, for sure. But in the end, especially those upperclassmen (like the Juniors, Seniors, and even Sophs), ended up just hanging out with each other, and even more than that, we would feel guilty about it. But we’re all creatures of habit, and when your friends don’t expect you to be around on Fridays–and they haven’t for two years…it’s hard to jump back in, you know what I mean? I guess I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves to me though, I didn’t go out to bars with them even though I could because I was afraid of them! (honestly though, Bar Louie’s is absolutely nothing to be afraid of!) AAAANYWAY…so a lot of ppl had hard feelings about this year. it was difficult, because we all felt that community was lacking–heck, I didn’t even meet Chris Leck till the absolute end of the year! And there was nothing in place to remedy that. And we all missed "the way it used to be"…and there were a variety of other problems that surfaced…((and that’s what i was talking about when i made the reference to human crap and wading through so many heavy emotions, etc))
So we had to make the decision. Do we stay on Wednesdays, or move back to Fridays? And it also affects the way we do outreach–like, do we bring ppl in through small groups, or do we use LG as a magnet to draw ppl in? And some ppl might like to sit in the back corner and be in a low commitment position of LG, whereas other people really need to get to know others in a small group to get drawn in. I’m all for the latter, but that’s besides the point. So do we equip ppl to send them out, or collect people and draw them IN? (i talked with alex about this, and then he posed it as a question that HE came up with….that ruffled my feathers *cough*. i think that’s one of the problems i have with alex that i have to learn to forgive him for….)
(this part is kinda a repeat of before, but it IS a summary…)
Rachel was polarized to Wed, Alex was polarized to Fri, and we just did not see an end in sight. And I’d been praying about it on and off (though not nearly as much as I should have–testament to God’s grace!), and so Tuesday of Cedar, I straight up said to God
"So what day should we have our LG on?"
and I heard him PLAIN AS DAY say "Wednesday." and it wasn’t a booming "WEDNESDAY!!!"
His voice was still, and not small…but quiet. yeah. Quiet and still. And me, like Peter, needed to hear three times. So I asked "Really?"
"Is this really you, or is it me?" (I was really fifty fifty by this point and had been for quite some time)
"Okay God, if this is you, which I think it is, then why Wednesday?" (God really showed me grace on this one–who am i to question the God of the universe?!)
"Because you will grow abundantly because of it."
that pretty much did me in. And Wednesday we were going to have a meeting with Allen Wakabayashi as our mediator, because we really were going around in circles. So going in i was all for Wednesday, although part of me still doubted and wondered if that was me talking to myself. But regardless, I didn’t feel like I ought to voice my opinion for Wednesdays. So I didn’t…and I thought there would be much crying and tears during this meeting, but praise GOD. Within an hour and a half, we’d come to a solution that satisfied everyone. EVERYONE. even Alex. with Front Porch Ministries on Friday nights, that build community and invite you to bring your friends, it’s going to be super chill and fun. And so we put LG on Wednesdays. It was so amazing though, really. I mean, literally, I think Tuesday night Alex broke down crying when he was talking to Lisa and Andy Bilhorn, and so I talked to him for a little while and then Barney and I prayed over him. But wow, I never thought God would move in all our hearts so quickly and so painlessly…the Holy Spirit was definitely with us, no joke, because there is NO WAY that we could have done that on our own. For real. I mean, we’d been going in circles about it for the past at LEAST 3 weeks, and the two poles remained the same, and the rest of us just kinda swayed with the wind in the middle.
And it’s good that we had to go through this whole process, because through it, we learned to rely on God in all decisions, we learned that God really does provide, we learned a lot about each other, we learned to work together as a team, and we all owned the decision in the end. No one was not heard, no one was left behind to lick their wounds. And we’re all so excited about it! 🙂 I’m thrilled. And now, when times are tough, we can always look back at this and remember that God’s hand is on our fellowship. And I’m expecting BIG things to happen next year…because God said "You will grow abundantly" and I take God at his word, because we can 🙂
more to come…