The time between the ages of eighteen to twenty-four is quite tumultuous. For most this time is filled with big decisions, responsibilities, and a quest for an identity. Overall, many see college as an experience, an opportunity to shape and mold their perceived identity. In the midst of this stage of life it is difficult to find belonging, especially in a positive, God-fearing, God-loving environment. Many times college aged students are lumped in with the Singles group. While this is not wrong, but the Singles’ age group can range from 18-30. This is a very wide and diverse age range, which means that these people can be in very different places in life. There are obvious benefits of having older individuals to turn to for guidance and perspective, but there are obvious difficulties trying to assimilate into such an environment. For some time, the Church I attend was like this and I found it very difficult to build relationships and a place of belonging. However, in the summer of 2014 that all changed.

With a new College Bible Study launching on Sunday mornings, the foundation was laid for building what would be to come. For the first couple of months, it was around 12-20 people. In this time, we got to know one another. We shared in something common, shared in a desire to know the Lord more, to grow deeper together. As this continued, we grew as a group. Grew larger in size, and grew deeper together. Somewhere along the way, we were no longer strangers. No longer just college students from various universities. We were family. A family of people from many different backgrounds, upbringings, and interests. These people have become invaluable additions to my life. I call them ‘Fam.’ It is difficult to describe just how much they mean to me, but it is most easily described in this statement…  “Love doing life with these people!” Fast forward another year, to the launch of a new College Bible Study aimed at anyone and everyone from local schools, churches, and neighborhood.

August of 2015 saw the launch of this new Bible Study. In many ways, it was like starting over again. Except this time, those who were new at the launch of the original Bible Study had blossomed into the leaders of this new endeavor. Some act as greeters, getting to know new guests. Some are our worship team, who pour out their love of God. Some are our media team, who hide their expertise from behind the scenes. But together, we are a Family. Before our Bible Study, we share in a meal. On the launch of the Bible Study, we ate at separate tables closely clustered together, but that would not do. On the following week, I do not remember how the idea came forth, but it was decided that setting at separate tables was not acceptable. And so, in a now symbolic gesture to represent the culmination of our time together, the tables were pushed together into one giant family gathering. Now as the new year is beginning to pass, I look forward with great eagerness to the things yet to come. Together, as a family, we will rely on one another, find strength in one another, celebrate with one another, and praise God together. Letting it be known that we are not ashamed of the One who came to save our lives, our Redeemer, the One who brought us together. I love you Fam!

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