When I left Chicago almost 2 years ago after summer project and the best summer I’ve ever had, a sweet friend looked me in the eyes and said, “this is how we get set free.” You see, I was sad about leaving Chicago. It was in that city that I saw God move mountains in my faith. I spent countless hours with my nose in my Bible and it was some of the best community I had ever experienced. Healing happened. I simply did not want to leave. The point of summer project was/is to learn to truly walk with God and do ministry on college campuses so that I could take my experiences back to IU, and bring the Gospel to my own campus. I went back to Bloomington and took with me the experiences from summer project, and had a wonderful year.
This phrase came back to me this year as prepared to leave Bloomington. Throughout the past year, I’ve asked God numerous times if He wanted me back in Bloomington and never heard a yes. Knowing what I know now, I’ve spent time wondering if I made the right decision. And I am confident that I did. For the same reason Chicago Summer Project could not go on forever. Leaving Bloomington, stepping outside the community that knows me so well is how I get set free.
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus gathered 12 men to be His disciples. They went with Him as He healed and preached. They spent time with Him and learned from Him. And then Jesus sent them out on their own. Mark 6:12-13 states, “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” The disciples go out and then they come back, only to be sent out again. This is how God uses us to spread the Gospel, by sending those He has called out to the world.
I love Cru. I love IU. I love Bloomington. But, I get set free by leaving. I get set free by being sent. I don’t exactly know where I’m being sent – lots of opportunities right now, but I know that I am sent. I have been trained to share the Gospel. I have seen what authentic community looks like. Wonderful mentors have invested me in. I have had the opportunity to plan events for God’s glory. I have been taught how to lead a Bible study. Heck, I’ve been taught how to study the Bible. I believe people have been called back to IU to intern with Cru and give a year of their lives to college ministry, but I know that right now I’m called to be sent out.
Being sent is how I’m set free. The greatest desire of my heart is to walk with Jesus for a lifetime, wherever my life my lead. I needed to leave Bloomington to learn how to walk with Jesus during this next season of life. I get to take everything I’ve learned in the past 4 years with me wherever I may end up. The college season of my life is over, but leaving and moving on is how I get set free.