Renewal Starts Now
A year of mourning. A year of waiting. A year of wishing for what could have been.
A year of rejoicing. A year of praying. A year of giving thanks for what was.
To mourn, to wait, and to wish for what could have been is a normal response in a year like this one was. The All-College Retreat was at a different camp than usual, those of us who were in our second year now have equal experience with online and in-person exams, those in dorm couldn’t eat with anyone outside of their family unit, and we were in Code Red for close to half a year. School was so different, so not what we wanted it to be. It was hard to sit at an isolated desk in class, it was a struggle to find spaces to work on group projects while maintaining social distancing, it sucked that most first-year students didn’t get to have a roommate.
Yet, it was a year that God had made, and so it was good.
To rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks is the best way to respond to a year like this one was. The creativity that came from having to re-imagine nearly every part of on-campus learning stretched our minds and gave us skills that can now be used for a lifetime, the need for family units in dorm caused immediate closeness and a family-like atmosphere, we enjoyed the outdoors more than ever this year, and we learned how strong we can be when we have to be. School has been so different, so new and filled with endless possibilities. It was amazing to see the community atmosphere at Hootenanny (an annual talent show) as we not only watched videos of talent but also played games altogether, it was amazing to see the excitement and involvement in the SBC Games, it was amazing to sit in new places in the school to study which were added because of social distancing.
There were many things that made this year unlike any other. So many of the things we added will now become a part of the new “normal” at SBC. I hope we never get rid of the new tables in the gallery, I hope we will always get to interact with a wider variety of students because of the new online programing, and I hope we never stop trying to re-imagine what SBC can look like in hard times.
I hope we never stop rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks in all circumstances.
As we move into summer and anticipate the new year ahead, we can look forward to meditating on the new theme of renewal. The summer will be an excellent time to renew energy for upcoming late-night homework sessions, renew brain cells that were lost during exam week, and renew hearts for the new school year to come. And once September comes and nervous first-years settle into their new home, excited second-years jump into new leadership roles, and experienced third-years begin to figure out where they will go from here, each person will face new kinds of trials. Each person will need to fix their eyes on the unseen, and hope for the type of renewal that only God can give.
Through the uncertainties of what is to come, through the discouragement of waiting, through each and every trial you face, you can rest in the fact that each day brings another sunrise, another perspective, and another chance to be renewed by God. He is with you through every trial, and He desires to renew your heart, soul, and mind each and every day.
New theme verse for SBC 2021-2022:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Cor. 4:16-18, NIV
Emma is a student blogger for 2020-2021. She recently completed her second of three years in the BA Christian Studies program with a focus in Worship Arts this April.