In many ways, my first year at Chi Alpha can be summed up by my initial visit to the weekly service called Ignite. The moment the first beat of music played, vibrating so hard my chest pounded, I knew I had found a place of security, where I could screech my off-key notes and praise The Lord at the top of my lungs without disturbing my neighbors. But to be honest, at first I didn’t understand how the people there could be so free in worship, and yet at the same time I desired that intimacy with The Lord more than anything. So slowly, as the night wore on, my eyes started focusing more on my Creator than the people around me. Though I was still quite far from experiencing the utter joy that comes from unhindered worship, by the end of the night I had taken a step towards that direction and only desired to dive in deeper.
In the same way, the faith of my fellow believers in Chi Alpha pulled me out of my shell during the year. Throughout my first two semesters at college, I slowly developed a life in Christ that is set free from the chains of this world. For a long time I had been held captive by my fears of messing up or looking foolish in the eyes of those around me. But when I saw the faith of my brothers and sisters moving mountains as they reached out to nonbelievers, my own faith began to increase. As a logical person in the world’s standards, I had always struggled to fully believe in God’s miracles. Don’t get me wrong- I whole-heartedly believed God was capable of doing anything, I just always doubted He would use me or allow me to observe Him. So when I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Peru, witness the healing of a deaf boy, and hear the voice of The Lord as He spoke into the life of each group member, my doubts and fears were blown out of the water.
The community that I have found in Chi Alpha has drastically changed my life and my faith. Though my unbelief still tries to wear me down, I need only to look at the joy of The Lord in my brothers and sisters to know that my God is more powerful than any fear I may ever have. Through Chi Alpha, I have found a place where I can throw up my hands, sing boldly, dance before The Lord in praise for all He has done, and know that I won’t be alone.