“We are teachers to build up the person, not the intellect.”

I was sitting in class today (that’s usually an important thing to do for a college student) when one of my classmates said the above sentence. And it really made me think.

About twice a semester, students have the privilege of going to chapel and hearing one of their own speak. Instead of bringing in a pastor, one of the graduating seniors gets to share their story: how their life has changed and what they’ve learned while here at Arizona Christian University. These chapels have always been my favorites, and I’m pretty confident that is a consensus across campus.

Well, I get to speak this week. And I am terrified! Sharing my personal life with two hundred some of my peers is really challenging me. I might just run away, and I would really like to hide.

But God is using this time of retrospection. As I think back over the three-point-five years, almost a complete four, that I’ve been here, I marvel at the changes in my life. The maturity in my thoughts. The intimacy in my spiritual life. The vastness of my dreams.

Now, what could have possibly changed me so much? Certainly, God played a huge role and none of it would have been possible without Him. But, mostly, I think it was the environment. I think it was just being here, at ACU.

I know that the majority of my professors prayed for me, if not by name then in my classes. They cared for me as a person, and wanted me to succeed far more than they cared about my grades. I work in the business office, and the ladies there have become my friends. They are far more than my bosses or coworkers, but encouragers and helpers and advice givers. My friends like me for who I am, but they also encourage me to run after God so He becomes the center of my life.

Where else would every area of my life be swamped with people who care about not just my intellect, but also my soul?

I hope you expressed your thanks last Thursday for friends, family, and good food. I hope you are also thankful for this place, this community, and this time in your life. I am certainly still counting my many blessings, especially ACU and the people here.

Still thankful,
Your sister Chesney