Places of Grace: Bloomington

I re-fell in love with running my senior year of college. I had a set 4 mile route that I would run a couple days a week. It had some hills, ran right alongside of campus and I sometimes saw people I knew as let my feet hit the sidewalk at my own pace. The running I did that year kept me sane as I served as Vice President of Phi Mu, Student Director of Cru Team, discipled five girls, started a relationship, job searched and fought to maintain friendships. I did my best thinking as dreaming down Henderson, up 3rd Street, over on High Street, down Hillside and back over on Henderson to the Dollhouse on East University. I would finish my run, sit on the porch swing and drink some water as I cooled down. It was quite the routine.

On Saturday in September, while in Bloomington for the weekend, I parked my car at Bryan Park and ran the same route. I fought back tears as I praised God for the time I spent in the very special, hippie college town 60 miles south of Indianapolis, known as Bloomington, Indiana. God was undoubtedly present during my four years of college as I roamed campus.

It was in Bloomington that I began a relationship with Jesus.

It was in Bloomington that I had four different majors and graduated not knowing what I actually wanted to do.

It was in Bloomington that I lived with 100 girls under one roof.

It was in Bloomington that I first tried to do ministry and fell flat on my face.

It was in Bloomington that I unsuccessfully tried to convince 5 boys to consider me a roommate.

It was in Bloomington that my accountability group met in a bar and we talked about the highs and lows of our lives while making friends with our bartender.

It was in Bloomington that I started to learn the art of throwing a great party.

It was in Bloomington that developed an eating disorder and saw the Lord gracefully free me from the control issues that led to it.

It was in Bloomington that I experienced a little bit of love and a little bit of heartache.

It was in Bloomington that I developed an unhealthy addiction to polar pops, party tanks and monograms.

Bloomington saw the good, the bad and the ugly of Caitlin Snyder.

I drove down to Bloomington on the heels of six hard weeks. My life had been stuck in autopilot and in order to take control again, I found myself doubting and dreaming, often times simultaneously, but always to the point of exhaustion. As I inhaled and exhaled the crisp fall air along the route I have run close to fifty times, it started to sink in that even though I live in a different city, I serve the same God. I serve a God whose goodness cannot even be described. He loves me, even as I have left Bloomington and continue my life in Indianapolis.

Note: This blog post was written in September, but still fits in well as part of my October challenge to write 31 days on grace. When I think of Bloomington, Indiana, it is a place where I have experienced God’s goodness and grace.


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