"Jesus has been faithful beyond measure."
I had the privilege of walking Drake's campus today with Cara, one of our wonderful Drake InterVarsity student leaders. Cara is graduating from Drake this Saturday and as a final time together we walked to the many places on campus where she's spent time as a student the last 4 and a half years and reflected on all that God has done. I wish you all could've been there to walk with us and hear the stories that Cara shared.
As we walked to the Knapp center, where Cara played Drake Women's Basketball for the last 4 years, there were many stories and a few tears. Cara stood in the middle of the court and reminisced about how hard practices were and how difficult the team dynamics were at times but how "worth it" every moment was. She shared about what it was like to really live life with those women and get to know them deeply--to have spiritual conversations with them and figure out that many of them, though not yet Christians, were hungry for an experience with God. We talked about the moment that Cara's coaches asked her to lead chapel times for her team at every home game and how Cara had the incredible opportunity to lead her teammates in looking at stories of Jesus in the Bible. She talked about different teammates, by name, who began to have encounters with God during those times and how she saw God moving in each of them.
Now, one of her teammates is going on her first mission trip this summer, another shared with Cara that she's opening her Bible and reading it on her own, and another is sharing worship music with Cara saying "isn't this the most beautiful song? I listen to it over and over."
It's amazing to see how God moves in and through a student in just a few short years. As we walked to Sussman Theater, our weekly InterVarsity worship space, to share stories, she remembered coming to that place every Wednesday night and crying almost every week her freshman year. Stopping me on her way out to pray for her and her team "Will you pray for me? Basketball is so hard and there are no Christians on my team--I'm struggling to make friends there and I honestly just want to quit." Same story almost every week, but Cara continued to invest in her basketball team and 4 years later, we stood on that court in the Knapp Center in awe at how God knit those women together and gave Cara incredible influence in so many of their lives.
What a privilege to recount the ways Cara saw God's faithfulness to her in college and what a humbling moment to hear her talk about InterVarsity's crucial role in that. "InterVarsity was always the place I could just receive--to get what I needed to go back to my team, my mission. InterVarsity is where I learned to actually follow Jesus and to love people well." "Jesus has been faithful beyond measure" she whispered. I agreed.
Thank you for making it possible for me to walk through 4 and a half years of life with a student like Cara. Watching her move from nervous, insecure, defeated freshman to a confident, beautiful, world-changer senior in college--and now graduating and heading into her first job, teaching in an inner city school in Des Moines. Cara will continue to be on a mission and I am eternally grateful to God to have shared this chapter with her!