The Beauty of This Place

It’s cold today. Almost freezing. And it rained for a very long time. Also, there is a boat load of wind.

Welcome to homecoming weekend!

This morning was the Street Fair on campus, which is one of the flagship events for homecoming weekend. And all of this inclement weather went down during the fair. But you know what? We all pressed on. Umbrellas in hand, gloves and warm beanies offering little protection from the bitter cold that suddenly sprung up over the last few days…we all smiled and did our thing.

I sold coffee, brownies, and fair trade jewelry, scarves, and purses with some of my new best friends at our booth for BOUND, our campus group that brings awareness to human trafficking. By the time we wrapped up, my fingers were so cold that I couldn’t even contribute to taking down the canopy. But it was all so worth it to see members of the community, alumni, and current students learning about the very prevalent tragedy that is sex slavery, child labor, and other forms of human trafficking.

Last night was another very popular event during homecoming, called OkSOBERfest. This event featured a live DJ, kegs of root beer, and nonstop dancing for two hours. Here, I was able to dance away my cares with friends and strangers alike. I met new people, laughed until I cried, and lost my voice from all of the singing and yelling. I even created a new dance move.

Yesterday afternoon also marked a historic event here—our university president was formally inaugurated. As the former head of TSA and Deputy Director of the FBI, it is a true honor to have President Pistole on our campus. This man loves Jesus, his home here at AU, and every single one of us here. Watching his inauguration is something I will remember forever. It was, at its core, active and live history. And I was there.

The whole point of this recap is to make one simple statement: this place is beautiful. Anderson is a truly God-ordained place. There is so much love of Christ here and you can’t help but soak it up. This campus is on fire for the mission of God. We want more of Him, in all that we do, every day. Our souls cry out for His presence and His will.

Greater things are on the way for my future, of that I am sure. But because I am here now, growing in faith, spirit, and mind, I will live in every moment. I will choose to love even when it is hard. I will continue to smile even when the cold creeps in. I will share my heart and passion with everyone who will listen. I will listen without judgment and I will embrace when embrace is needed. I will lift others up when they fall. I will be a disciple of Christ, and I will sacrifice myself for the sake of His kingdom. Because the beauty of this place relies on its inhabitants, I will give all of the beauty I have to offer.

Psalm 119:9-11:

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Matthew 5:14:

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

♥ Nikki