Letter #159: The Finest of Fellowship

Dear fellowship,

I had no idea how exciting and vital of a role you play in life. The early church was centered around you, and I don’t think I ever understood exactly what that looked like. There’s absolutely nothing compared to you happening among 11 believers at a lakehouse…ok, I’m sure there’s something, but it was dang good. Eleven of my friends from the Kanakuk Institute spent the weekend together, and I’m not sure anything else could’ve been better for my soul.

I experienced more of what the church was intended to be last year with my Institute class than I’ve ever experienced elsewhere. We experienced you in deep ways. We ate together, prayed together, learned from great teaching and the Word together, laughed and played together, cried and mourned together. Seventy of us were unknowingly brought together and became the closest thing I’ve ever seen to an Acts 2:42 church. We did life together and that is what I think God intended.

Transitioning from college where you’re surrounded by people your same age constantly is interesting. Real life hits you in the face, and you realize there’s more out there than 18-24 year olds. Intentionality is required to make friends. It doesn’t just happen like it did in Comp II and the sorority house. I transitioned from college directly into another bubble. This time surrounded by 69 like-minded classmates ranging from 22-30 years of age, all believers in Christ as Savior and Lord, most wanting to learn and grow in biblical knowledge. We were all in the same boat…define what I truly believe, figure out what life looks like post Institute and have fun in the midst of it. Boy, did we have fun!

So, my transition happened after my “5th year’ which just happened to be on a tropical island in Branson rather than in Stillwater. After being surrounded by instant friendships for 23 years of my life, I must now work at finding friends. I have to seek people out because I don’t live in a sorority or dorm with them anymore. Having you has become more of a challenge than something I simply take for granted. Add in that with traveling and camp I’m not even in Branson but half the time I should be, and it’s tough. Growing up is a process, and it’s bigger than learning to be financially independent.

Back to the weekend. I never dreamed I’d become such great friends with people in just eight months. The group at the lake this weekend literally only spent eight months together at the Institute, yet 11 months later we walk into a room and it’s as if we’ve known each other for years. Conversation is instant and incessant. People genuinely care and ask great questions. Struggles and challenges are shared. Lessons are learned simply from listening to friends. You happened. Bread was broken and prayers were prayed. I may not have attended a physical church on Sunday, but the 11 of us were the church.

I’m more thankful for you than I’ve ever been. I’m thankful for friends. I’m more thankful for the body of Christ than ever before. I pray you can be achieved whenever believers come together. I pray you are found not just in my life, but in the lives of my readers as well.

Thankful for encouragement and for being challenged this weekend,

Advocate of believers coming together as the church