If you ran into me today in NYC, you’d say: “Wow, Caralyn. You look like you’ve been hit by a bus!”
And you’d be absolutely right.
Because you see, last night…minus a 2.5 hour power nap…I pulled an all-nighter.
I had planned on using this weekend to catch up on some timely writing jobs that were due this morning….But when my very best friend unexpectedly got her heart broken this weekend, all plans went out the window, and I began — roughly 12 hours worth of work on Sunday evening around 10pm. Due Monday morning at 10am sharp.
But you know what, it was worth it, because she’s my rock and we’ve been through so much together, and her friendship is worth a cruddy night sleep.
But that is not the point of this post.
One of the jobs that I do, is I am an in-house writer for a faith-based, non-profit organization called FOCUS – which stands for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. And their mission is to send recent college graduate “missionaries” out into college campuses, and through authentic, genuine friendships, help students encounter Jesus in a real, authentic and personal way.
It really is an amazing organization. I benefitted from it greatly in college. And their mission to set the world on fire for Christ, is truly incredible. But again…not the point of this post.
One of the assignments I had this weekend, was to edit the new campus missionaries’ “introduction” videos that will be on their website.
Now, FOCUS is on over 180 college campuses nation-wide, and has over 800 missionaries. So little old me was editing some 50+ introduction videos into the wee hours of the morning.
And I’ve got to say — though I was bleary eyed, and exhausted, and though I felt — and looked — like a zombie all day today — listening to those young 20-somethings’ testimonies about why they’re giving up everything to follow Christ and work as a missionary in such a secular wasteland that is the college campus, it was actually a bright spot in my weekend.
I was so inspired.
And there was one phrase that I kept hearing over and over and over again– and that was citing how Jesus “radically transformed” their heart.
Nearly every single young person, shared how their hearts and lives were radically transformed when they had a personal encounter with Jesus — so much so, that they would hold off on beginning their careers, and work without a salary as a missionary.
But here’s the thing that was so incredible….how did all these radical transformations come about? How did they experience a personal encounter with Christ? Through the friendship of a FOCUS missionary who had befriended them on campus.
Through a personal, one-on-one relationship where someone invests in you.
What an amazing thing.
And it holds so incredibly true. For me, too! My “radical transformation” really came when I was at inpatient, and my Christian therapist — in a one-on-one relationship, investing in me everyday for those three months — led me to a life-changing encounter with Jesus that was truly radical. Radical to the point that I gave up an eating disorder that nearly killed me. Radical to the point that I told the truth about all the deception and deceit in my life. Radical to the point that, for the first time in my life, I knew that I was fully loved, despite my eating disorder, and my short comings, and my flaws.
And those young adults whose videos I edited, experienced that life changing love, too. And they were doing something about it.
This one young man summed it up, perfectly.
He said, life can be boiled down to one little phrase: Be His instrument.
Be His instrument.
So simple, and yet so profound. And so life altering and — dare I say, radical!
That’s the thing about truly encountering Christ — His love changes you. There’s no way for it not to. Because it’s as though all of a sudden the veil is lifted, and life becomes crystal clear. You see what truly matters, and that is: getting to Heaven, and bringing as many people with you as possible.
So. Those are just my sleep deprived thoughts. I was so moved to see the fire that was alive in these courageous young people.
Yes, we’re in a pandemic. Yes, everything about college is built to beat the faith right out of you. Yes, living a Christ-centered life is about as radically counter-cultural as you can get, right about now. But these young people are out there giving their lives in service to Him.
It was profoundly impactful. And these videos are just a little reminder that they’re not alone in their efforts. There is a community behind them, cheering them on, and praying for their ministry.
So to close, I’d like to just pray for those brave men and women who have answered the call to serve Jesus on the college campus. Lord, strengthen their hearts as they face unprecedented obstacles and resistance, from a secular culture that has fully rejected God, His teachings, and His love. Cover them with your grace and whisper your gentle encouragement in their hearts, as they seek to bring Your light to the darkness, and change the world!
For more information about FOCUS, click here. This is in no way sponsored. I just fully believe in this organization, and wanted to share about a very inspiring episode I had in the wee hours of the morning!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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