On the 23rd of September this year I received a text from a very special friend saying, "HAPPY EIGHTH FRIENDSHIP ANNIVERSARY!" I can barely believe it has been 8 years since I started Uni! For us, that day was the start of something life changing! So we text each other on the 23rd each year and reminisce about who we were back then, how we have changed, how much we have accomplished and recount many of the memories we share.
I always look back at my time at Uni with fondness. It was fun. It was depth. It was real. It was full. It was freedom. It was discovery. It was growth. It was where I started to realise Gods heart for me. It was where I found out I was cherished and may even be worthy of love and friendship. It is where I found my love of community. It is where I found myself. I look back and see a 19 year old that I barely recognise. She is not who I am now.
It was definitely a season where God was working within me. I can look back and see glimpses of where He has been taking me but there was something different about that season. In the gap between who I wanted to be and where I was at the time, so many amazing people mentored and lived life with me. I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into every aspect of Uni and church life. The late night discussions over tea and toast and even later alarm awakenings. The times of getting ready with the girls and dancing the nights away. The cell evenings spent wrestling about how we could bring God glory and share His heart for the people around us. The all nighters pulled to meet a deadline forgotten. The times of laughter and the ones where tears were shed. It was where life was shared, every single bit of it. The bits we wanted to share and the bits we would rather have forgotten. The parts were God reigned and the parts where I left Him out. It was a time of acceptance of who I am and where, with the help of others, I became acutely aware of the adventure I am part of and that has run way past the 3 years at Uni.
This year, the 23rd of September has been even more poignant. I have been eagerly awaiting the new freshers in Chichester and anticipating what God will do with this group this year. I cant wait to see them grow and start their adventures. I can feel it bubbling inside me just writing this :) I cant wait to share the ups and downs and learn with them in the knowledge that God is shaping us all for His kingdom. My wish is that they would have life changing experiences, that they would find God in a new way each day, that they would look back in 8 years time and have enjoyed every second and see that they have made a difference. My prayer is that they would PRAISE God in the happy moments, SEEK Him in the difficult ones, TRUST Him when it is quiet and THANK Him in every season they have here.