I’m not heading back to Bloomington this weekend. That fact has brought me close to tears multiple times today. I wouldn’t be at Sweet’n’Low, I don’t get to help target how to reach freshman this fall, I wouldn’t be gathering and following up contacts, and I wouldn’t get to watch as God grabs the hearts of students at IU. When I dream about joining staff with a campus ministry like Cru, part of me wonders if I could handle it, not necessarily the support raising or the full-time ministry aspect, but the transient-ness that comes with working with college students. College is such a short period of a person’s life. Four years. Sometimes three and sometimes five, but then it’s over. My college career, my four years are done. I’m not going back. I’ll be moving to Indianapolis to start the next season, but it’s not college.
There’s a strange peace that has come over me as I’ve prayed through this, I’m sad, but peaceful. In one week, a bright-eyed freshman girl is going to set foot onto IU’s campus with no idea what she wants out of life, and she’s going to search for her place. She’ll try different organizations, and settle on Cru, where she’ll meet people, some of whom have grown up in the church and others who are getting their feet wet with the whole Christianity thing, just like her. Over the next four years, this girl will grow, she’ll face the depth of her sin and the grace that God offers. She’ll make mistakes with boys and develop really meaningful relationships with other girls. She’ll stay up too late, and skip more classes than she ever intended. Most importantly, she’ll get to know Jesus, and what it means to have a relationship with Him, a relationship that will outlast and out-value everything else in her life.
How do I know this? Because that was me. There were girls before me, just like there will be girls after me, whose lives God will change during college. I’m humbled to reflect on the girl I was 4 years ago, and all that God has done in me and through me since I set foot on IU’s campus.
I can’t head back to Bloomington, it’s some one else’s turn. It’s another girl’s turn to wander her way through all the fears of true surrender, to spend countless hours in Wright Food Court, to dream of what revival looks like in her sorority house, to plan discipleships, and to fall madly in love with Jesus. IU saw the good, the bad and the ugly of Caitlin Snyder. It’s beautiful to admit it’s not my time to be in college anymore, it’s someone else’s. I hope and pray that the freshmen stepping onto IU’s campus know how special it is, and that the freshman who find themselves at the Check-Out-Cru meeting next Thursday will let the Gospel transform their hearts. Bloomington is not my home anymore, just as it’s not my Cru movement anymore. And that’s beautiful because it’s someone else’s turn.