Discipling college students (ages 18-25 years old) is vital in the work of transforming lives, empowering generations and restoring communities back to God. As we have seen through much research among the Church, approximately 70% of Christian youth in the United States, including those who graduate from high school and enter college, fall away from their faith. As part of the solution, our hope is first found in Jesus, the foundation of His Word.
In this season, as we continue to BUILD TOGETHER and partner with God to BUILD His people, BUILD His Church and BUILD His Kingdom, we are reminded of the ONE TRUE foundation He has laid for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. When you too choose to INVEST TOGETHER, we will be able to continue investing in this generation, and provide the time and space needed for authentic student discipleship to take place so that more may know their true identity in Christ.
On this account, we invite you into the story of U.S. college student + Journey intern, Maddie Mitchell as she shares her first hand experience below...
If I could pick a theme for this summer on Journey, it would be “seasons.” The Lord took me through quite a few seasons, and doubt was one of them.
On Journey, I found myself asking a lot of difficult questions about God and allowing the enemy to answer them. And with those answers I quickly validated the reason behind my questions. The enemy was under attack…
While I was going through this doubt, I knew deep down that I could not let the enemy win. I went to the Word and began praying.
During this time, I quickly found out that this doubt I was dealing with was ultimately a head to heart disconnection. I knew what I needed to do in order to have a relationship with God and I knew who God was and is and will be, but did I really believe it in my heart? That was the big question. Did my heart yearn for His goodness? Did my heart even believe He’s good?
The Lord provided such a groundbreaking experience through my Journey internship, and I could never let it be forgotten. It just isn’t possible.
One night back at our campfire worship, I decided to lie down in the grass and look up at the sky that was beautifully lit by stars every which way I looked. As I was lying there, I asked the Lord to truly reveal Himself to me in such a clear way. I just needed to know He was real and that He was Present. Since I was looking up at the stars, I figured a shooting star would be the most tangible way for the Lord to reveal Himself to me in that moment, and immediately thought it silly that I would ask for such a request.
Then, suddenly… there it was! A shooting star. Wow. So clear, so bright, full of light – just like Him.
My first thought was “You are here. You are real.”
God didn’t have to do that for me. But the thing is - He wanted to.
He wanted to reassure me.
He wanted to say, “I love you.”
He wanted to let me know He heard me.
I had never seen the Lord in such a tangible way before.
After nearly a full summer of doubt in the Lord, all of it was wiped away in a matter of seconds. That is how mighty He is.
He can wipe away something as strong as doubt by just sending a shooting star across the sky.
How incredible. How deep the Father’s love for us.
After thinking back on this story and this summer, I can’t help but think of this verse:
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his,
we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” -Romans 6:5
This verse has so resonated in my heart. At the beginning of this summer, it is true that I was struggling with doubt.
Yet the Lord so faithfully and so lovingly showed Himself to me and freed me from my doubt.
The Lord longs to see our resurrection story.
If you would have told me at the beginning of this journey that the Lord was going to walk me through death and resurrection, I don’t know if I would’ve believed you.
But I sure am glad that is exactly what the Lord had for me this summer.
Enemy – you have been defeated.
Lord – You reign. Always.
-Maddie Mitchell | 2016 Journey Intern
To give to our Generosity Initiative and help meet our 2017 ministry need for college student discipleship in the U.S., please visit choosetoinvest.org/buildtogether