July 24, 2010

The One That Says Thank You

Posted in CBSP at 11:51 pm by Katie

Disclaimer:  Parts of this may not make any sense unless you were on project.

Oh, CBSP…first of all, I love each and every single one of you oh so much.  There are so many things I wanted to say to y’all on Wednesday night, but there was no way anything was coming out without me crying more than I already was, haha.  So, this is an open letter to y’all to say all the things I wanted to say.

I’m not going to lie…I was pretty nervous the entire drive down to Clearwater.  I kept thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?”  I definitely didn’t think I was ready to spend an entire summer growing in my walk with the Lord, and as excited as I had been throughout the entire process, those last couple of days the nerves got the best of me.  But from the moment I stepped into the courtyard at the North Sunrise, all those fears and nerves completely left me.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much love in five minutes, haha.  I know that a lot of us felt pretty overwhelmed that first day, myself included, but it was a good overwhelmed – more of a comfort than anything else.

Logan, Kristin, Kevin, and Will – I still laugh when I think about y’all passing me on the interstate in Georgia.  How appropriate that y’all basically took me in that first night.  It was like, oh, instant friends!  From heading to the beach that first afternoon to our first (of many, many, MANY) Target run that night, I am so grateful that you let me into your UTC circle and let me tag along those first couple of days.

Other memories of that first day include sitting on the incredibly hot area around the pool eating pizza, Ryan informing me that he wouldn’t forget my last name because it was the same as his girlfriend’s, being excited that Katie had on a Carolina shirt (yeah, it was the wrong Carolina…oh well, haha) and that Jenna was from Western.  I remember going to bed that night knowing that it was going to be an amazing summer.

Staff, let’s face it…y’all are just amazing.  I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so many loving, caring individuals for the first part of project.  I especially appreciated so many examples of beautiful godly marriages, especially since that’s something that I haven’t had a lot of.  Just seeing the love that y’all had for each other and for your children was such a wonderful blessing and made me look forward to that part of my life that much more.

Lindsey and Mikel – I just love you both.  You were amazing LifeGroup leaders, and I so appreciate the way you invested in all of us from the start.  Lindsey, I’m glad we found out that we were the same person in a lot of ways, that you asked questions and pushed me further to open up more, and that you listened to my ridiculously long seven-minute testimony in Clear Sky, haha.  I also can’t thank you enough for encouraging me through the job search and supporting me financially through those hard times.  And, I have your address permanently memorized…haha.  Mikel, you know we loved your desserts…haha.  But I also loved getting to spend time with you and your family, playing with your girls, and getting to know you better.  I’m excited to be making some of your recipes…once I figure out where I packed them…haha.

Ashley – thank you for being our family mom…keeping our crazy family in line…encouraging us to build crazy Play-Dough farms (LOOAS!)…and just being so fun.  I love that we both know Niki, that we both love her hugs, and that Jenna and I could help you with your hug face, haha.

To all of my fellow students – you all are just so amazing.  There aren’t even words to describe it.  Thank you for letting me be the mom, not making me feel crazy awkward for being the oldest, and loving on me all the time.  Thank you for all the crazy memories – fat Fridays, driving around searching for jobs, random people at 4th of July fireworks, paying people $10 to be buried in the sand to win the scavenger hunt, SO. MUCH. RAIN, sharing with people on the beach and sharing those stories with one another, pirates vs. ninjas, serving at Pinellas Hope, P. Randy & Big Al…CHAINS BE BROKEN, being incredibly tacky at tacky prom…there are so many more.  But more importantly, thank you for being beautiful examples of loving the Lord whenever I needed it.  It was so incredibly encouraging to be surrounded by so many people who just love the Lord and to share in that.

To the roomies of room six – You girls are just so amazing.  I love y’all so, so, so much.  Katlyn and your peanut butter addiction, Logan being my daughter, Kristy and your ridiculous sleeping and waking up habits, and Chelsea with all of our drives and adventures around Clearwater, Largo, etc.  I cannot wait to hear about the amazing things God is doing in each of your lives.  I hope you know how special you all are to me.

To the amazing evangelism team – I’m so encouraged by each and every one of you.  I’m so amazed at how we all worked together so well to plan events.  I’ve learned so much from each of you.  Jordan, thanks so much for doing the hard questions stuff.  I learned so, so much going through that with you and Jon, Katlyn, and Chelsea.

To my beautiful LifeGroup girls – thank you so much.  Katie, Susie, Morgan, and Kourtney – thanks for hearing all my junk that very first Sunday and still loving me regardless.  Thanks for growing with me and loving on me week in and week out.  Alison, Kristin, Kourtney, and Misha – thanks for making us the best combined LifeGroup ever, for growing with me even more, and thanks to all of you for Serious Cookie my last night.  That was so, so special and so fun to spend a lot of my last night with y’all.

There’s probably something I could say about every single one of you, because you each touched my heart in some way over the course of the summer.  Thank you all so much for my card and everything from my last night on project.  You have no idea how much your encouraging words mean to me.  It’s currently sitting here in my room in my apartment, just waiting for a good place to be put on display.

Please know that y’all are more than welcome in Columbia at any time.  If you need anything, please, please, please call, text, Skype, whatever me.  I will always be the mom whenever you need me to be!  Enjoy the rest of your time on project, keep me updated on all the fun stuff that happens, and enjoy the rest of college.  I know I’ve said it before, but it goes by so, so fast.  Cherish it and don’t wish it away, because you’re going to miss it once it’s gone.

I’ll leave you with my prayer for each one of you:

“I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” – Phillippians 1:3-11

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