E-man and I ventured over to Bethel-land today to meet our former roommate Angela for some quality time. Just driving onto campus with the spring flowers popping out and everything getting green, I was reminded of all of the good memories of that time of year while I was a student and a staff person at Bethel. Having to park out in the SCR lot because of crazy-limited parking, brought back lots of fond memories for me, too. In Admissions they actually celebrate "Freedom in Parking Day" ... the Tuesday after Memorial Day (usually) when all of the students are gone and suddenly there are LOTS of parking spaces again. Upon entering the buildings, I was greeted with many smiles because college students enjoy seeing little ones like E-man. Running into friends/past co-workers like Chris LaRue, Laurel, Leslie and meeting Ross to have him swipe his card to get me and E into the DC (thank you Frenchie!) - all of these people just warmed my heart today. Seeing Student Life staff who have been so encouraging to me over the years and many other friends ... I was just reminded of what a very special place Bethel is to our family. Angela and E-man and I enjoyed our lunch and then we took a walk around campus, stopping at the Sem to see my Dad's new office and say hi to "Bubbup". We continued our walk out to sem village where Ross and I lived for his 3 years of seminary. Those were such special years as we began our married life together and we had the BEST apartment in the whole place with a view of the lake and the woods on a quiet corner of Bethel-land. Angela is someone who I always enjoy because she challenges me to think in new ways and asks me great questions and I'm so glad we got to spend time together today.
Once you work on the 'inside' of Bethel, sometimes the really really good parts of Bethel can loose their shimmer ... their special-ness ... I know because I have experienced it ... but being back there today I was flooded with gratefulness for the community, the people at Bethel who are loving, kind and servant-oriented. Remembering is such an important part of our faith journey and today was one of those remembering kind of days that brought me back to just how thankful I am for God's faithfulness through the community of Bethel in my life. As this 19-year old girl from Pennsylvania came to Bethel back in 2000, I was excited about the future, nervous about the unknown, and definitely feeling the pain of pulling up deep roots from a very special community in PA. Today, I can look back on the last 10 years and confidently say ... God was and is so very good. He met me every step of the way and many of those difficult steps where I experienced him the deepest were because of the amazing community at Bethel coming along side of me and pointing me back to my Father and what really matters in this life.