It has been amazing to see all the IG pictures and posts y’all have been sharing of the hundreds of activities you are planning to welcome new and returning students to their spiritual “home away from home” in the coming weeks. These days are filled to the brim with excitement and anxiety, hope and nervousness, adrenaline and weariness. New beginnings always are, aren’t they? When Abram and Sarai set out on their journey towards something new, God promised them that they were going to be blessed, and that they would in fact be blessings and “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3) I firmly believe that God is doing the same thing through each of you and through your ministries to your campus communities and beyond.
When I read the following blessing on the UKirkVT Instagram page written by Rev. Emily Rhodes Hunter, the new campus minister at UKirk Virginia Tech, I was reminded of the ways God’s blessings often show up in the mundane, sweat-soaked, exhausting first days of Fall. I pray her words (used with permission) are ones you can share, but also ones that bless YOU as you move into this new season of campus life.
A Blessing for Move-In Day
You can find this blessing
boxed up in the back of a mini-van,
shoved haphazardly in a duffle bag,
and balanced precariously on a hand trolley.
It meets you in the midst of newness,
where jittery excitement and nervous firsts
tumble around together in the pit of your stomach,
where a camera’s flash
captures proud smiles and eager faces
while hearts swell to hold
This blessing knows that you are less ready
than you think you are,
yet fully capable of navigating this newness
with openness, wonder, and courage.
Though the trunk will slam and the door will close
this blessing will remain with you.
It will be a bridge that carries you
through teary goodbyes and hopeful hellos.
It will remind you
that this journey is yours alone to map,
while assuring you
that you’ll always have a compass
pointing you toward home.
So, as you settle into this strangeness,
as you welcome this wild and wondrous chapter
of a story that is still being written,
may you trust
that the One who brought you this far
will abide with you,
stretching to encompass all that you are