summer beginning – an end to the first year

This is my most recent email update on my first year as an intern with a campus ministry –

The most common question that I’ve been asked recently is, “So, how does it feel to be off for the summer?”

My first thought is, “I don’t know, how does it feel to be off for the summer?”
I don’t have the summer off. 😉

But, as you know, the regular rhythms of the school year are gone. There are many students in and around Tulsa for the summer, and we are kicking off the first of many summer cookouts tonight! We’re excited for the chance to foster community with students during a time when they have a slightly less demanding workload – many are working or doing research here for the summer.

The week after final exams, we hopped on a charter bus and went to Florida for the annual national Summer Conference. Our students spent the week attending seminars on topics like Justification, Faithful Sexuality, Cross-Cultural Community, Glorification, and Friendship, to name just a few. Each day, we had lots of free time to spend on the beach, playing in various tournaments, or napping by one of the many pools.

At the end of the week, we circled up to talk about what we learned and would take away from the week. More than one student cried as they talked about the meaningful ways the other students on the trip made them feel welcome and loved. Summer Conference really is an intensive week of community, and it was beautiful to hear wise words from our students and to witness new friendships as we prepared to leave.

I’m grateful for this first year of the internship. There have been days when I felt useless, exhausted, or depressed. I’ve had a weary spirit. I miss my close friends and family dearly. But I am captivated by the work God is doing at this university. Summer Conference was a refreshing time personally, as I was reminded of the extent of RUF’s ministry and spent time talking with those from other campuses about the impact of Christ in their students’ lives.

This past week, I was able to visit Lincoln, to see a cousin graduate and to celebrate a wedding. There, I felt God’s kindness to me more tangibly than I have in a long time. Despite my ungrateful, weary attitude toward life where I am as of late, he provided a time of refreshment almost beyond my emotional capacity to process. I felt so loved and cared for, and I felt the true weight of support from everyone I visited.

what a dear friend + someone that challenges me to dig in + experience life with vulnerability and open hands + meeting that challenge herself
what a dear friend + someone that challenges me to dig in + experience life with vulnerability and open hands + meeting that challenge herself
sweet, funny, can't help but be happy around her kinda gal.
sweet, funny, can’t help but be happy around her kinda gal.
Oasis Bluegrass Band: AKA the father in law and bonus mom in law strut their stuff.
Oasis Bluegrass Band: AKA the father in law and bonus mom in law strut their stuff.
where I like to go
where I like to go
kindred spirits that beat to the tune of different drummers. ideation. longing. never settling.  she spreads joy in my heart & affection that's mutual is a fun thing to experience together = true friendship.
kindred spirits that beat to the tune of different drummers. ideation. longing. never settling. she spreads joy in my heart & affection that’s mutual is a fun thing to experience together = true friendship.
functional
functional
real love
real love
There it is. :)
There it is.
In all reality, I miss her dearly.
In all reality, I miss her dearly.
Best homemade ice cream around town / around most towns. Clearly the best shop. In the best building. :)
Best homemade ice cream around town / around most towns. Clearly the best shop. In the best building.
Evening in Lincoln
Evening in Lincoln
And the original reason for going to Lincoln. Collin & Alicia. Collin chose Nick as his Best Man, and I think so too.
And the original reason for going to Lincoln. Collin & Alicia. Collin chose Nick as his Best Man, and I think so too.
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