I have had the great privilege and blessing of being a part of God’s work in Williamsburg, Virginia. Freshman year, I came in believing God had a plan for me, but I didn’t know what that plan looked like. I didn’t realize how difficult my first year would be and how far off my vision was from God’s.
Loneliness. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Arrogance.
I stumbled my way through my first year convinced that revival would come down like a meteor and that the students here would suddenly begin jumping and dancing and singing and crying all in one day. When these things weren’t happening, I became discouraged because I failed to see that what my plan looked like, was not at all what God’s plan looked like. So I tried and I tried, but I became more and more drained.
I know now that I tend to learn lessons after they’re taught. While I’m in the midst of pain and struggle, I fail to see the opportunities for growth in them. All I see and all I feel in those moments are the pain and the struggle, because that was what I was focusing on.
What I Learned My Second Year
In my second year, I realized how God was shaping me and forming me for his work throughout my freshman year, to be able to rely on Him and His grace, and to be able to understand that my ways are not His ways and that His plan far exceeds my own. Throughout freshman year I was learning — without even knowing — how to love like He loves and be committed even in times of struggle.
In my times of great passion, I lost my vision for the road ahead. I lost the meaning of perseverance, and I just focused on the here and now, without regard for the follow-up.
The Beginnings of a United Movement
More recently, the College of William & Mary has been feeling the powerful touch of God’s hand through unity and prayer. In November 2013, over ten different college ministries and hundreds of students gathered for a night full of worship and prayer. It was the first time I had seen unity of that level on the campus.
From that point, unity continued to grow throughout not just William & Mary, but other campuses nearby like Liberty University and Christopher Newport University.
Now, I see God shifting us into a season of prayer, moving our community built on the movement of unity into bodies of intercession and faith evident in our launch of 100 Hours of Prayer just a few weeks ago. I see brothers and sisters so eager and passionate for the work God is doing on our campus, and it leaves me breathless sometimes!
Remaining Faithful Through Challenges
The hardest work comes, not from organizing events and getting the word out so people come, but from the days, weeks, months, and even years after these things take place. The biggest challenge we face isn’t “what is the next thing?” rather, it is “how do we sustain and how do we pass along what is happening?” We must remain faithful for the days after our events, because we are not working unto today or even tomorrow, we are working for His glory unto eternity.
As I reflect a little bit on the journey God has taken us through over the past few years, I see that our bursts of revival are not isolated events. They are the work and prayers of many who have come before us. The ground that is so fertile now is fertile because our brothers and sisters took the time to plow what used to be cold, hard ground.
We are here to pick up their work, and for us, there is still much more ground for us to plow while spreading seeds of faith where the soil is good. Breaking ground can be incredibly difficult and can be accompanied by loneliness, fear, anxiety, anger, arrogance, and so many other challenges.
Our challenges and our difficulties though may indeed become our biggest blessings in helping us grow, learn, and mature to be ready for whatever lies ahead. The cold, hard ground we plow now, will be fertile ground for generations to come.
Jeremy is entering into his senior year at the College of William & Mary. He is passionate about music, food, and people, and he is committed to seeing Jesus made famous on the college campus.