Going back to School…a tribute to the UGA Wesley Foundation

Back to school! Today is the first day back for many in my area and and neighborhood. Though it does not affect us directly this year, it has caused me to think about all those days of excitement and anticipation. The first day back always felt like a new beginning, a new chance, and a new adventure.

One of the most importance “first days” for me as I am sure is for many was the first day of college. I was thrilled and yet a little nervous. Of course, when I think about that first day,  I have to reminisce on my many days spent at the UGA Wesley Foundation at the University of Georgia. Oh when I think about that place, delight fills my heart. I am forever grateful to the Lord that Wesley was a place I could call home from day one.

When I started college, I desperately needed a new beginning. I longed for God to help me find the right path and even more desperately needed a community of believers to wrap their arms around me. From day one, I found this at Wesley. For seven years I was discipled by an older student or staff member every week. I was prayed for, encouraged to be in the Word, and loved. It is hard to explain to anyone how much that has changed my life.

Just the other day, I was telling my husband once again the power of discipleship that I learned at Wesley and how that has now seemed to impact every relationship that I have. It has helped me see the impact of true community on our walk with God.

Next to discipleship, one of the most important and life changing lessons I learned at Wesley was, “it is alright to take a risk. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail. Oh well.”  I laugh when I think about all the crazy things I tried to do while a student and even as a staff member at Wesley that totally flopped. Maybe it was a little too much ambition some would say, but I would say that I learned to fail well. Failures soon lead to success and confidence. The entire time I always had a thumbs up from those around me! Now, in my mind, it is alright to flop. God is not going to yell at me. I may be corrected in some things, but that only helps me for my next attempt.

So, I think back over my college years and say, “thank you.”

“Thank you UGA Wesley Foundation Staff and friends.”

“Thank you God for my experiences and changing my life!”

I am excited for all those starting out on a new day today. From Kindergarten all the way to college. It is a new day! I pray for many new paths and new adventures that lead many hearts into the heart of God.

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