My daughter just finished her first semester of college, and yes, we have all survived! Praise God! Survival has come through many hours of prayer, reading Scripture, and lots of free therapy from friends and family. By the way, thank you all for not charging! I can now look back on that first day of college with a little perspective, not through the fear and tears I had at the beginning. I remember getting ready to leave for school on that fateful morning and my daughter asked me how she looked. I was prepared to tell her that her hair looked great, her clothes matched (not always a given in our household), and that she looked very “college-worthy”. My sweet daughter had another adjective in mind; she wanted to know if she looked approachable?
“Approachable?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m wearing my Young Life shirt and do you think people will know about YL and want to approach me?”
She was thinking; will people know I’m a believer and will this shirt encourage other believers to talk to me. Wow, I thought, so much for wanting to look cute on your first day. This is not the first, nor will it be the last time that I am in awe of the boldness of her faith. I am constantly trying to keep up with her Christ-like example.
Well, my husband and I said that her shirt was a great first impression statement and it was also a great color on her, a kind of a win, win situation. So fast forward… later that night after hours of my crying; OK sobbing on the way home from leaving our official college girl, she called. “Guess what, the shirt worked! I met this great friend who does Young Life too, and we ate supper together and she’s awesome!” Sometimes the Lord works fast and furiously on our behalf. This friend was indeed awesome and she and my daughter have found more Christian friends and leaders in their Young Life group. We are so thankful and truly blessed that the Lord put these people in her life, even if it is a life not at home with her parents! (I am still working out a few issues)
That started me thinking, how approachable am I? Do my actions and words draw people to Christ or do they turn them away? I am afraid I fall into the latter category too many times. So in order to live a life of approachability I am going to be more intentional about getting myself ready every day; yes I want to be more like my daughter! The Bible gave me the perfect verses to make that happen. For example in Ephesians (6:13-16) we are instructed to put on the full armor of God; the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, ready feet, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. If we are “dressed” correctly and seek after Him then; in Galatians (5: 22), we are told how to live by the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all character traits of our Heavenly Father that we acquire when we are living a life in Christ. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that? Bottom line is, the more time we spend with Jesus the more we resemble Him. We should be recognizable to others by our actions and our character traits, no t-shirt required! My prayer is to be approachable and identified as a member of the family of believers.
Now, here’s a quick “rest of the story”. Turn back the clock to a few months before we dropped our daughter off at school…Orientation Day. I was at the Campus Ministries booth and I met a precious girl asking about different ministries, specifically Young life. I told her my daughter was interested in YL too and maybe they would meet up sometime. Later, I reunited with my husband and daughter and I told them that I had found her a perfect friend. After rolling her eyes my daughter reminded me that she was a soon to be college student and she would certainly make her own friends. (Do you see where this is going?) YES… that sweet girl who noticed her YL shirt on the first day was my friend I found for her during orientation. Coincidence? I don’t think so. More like Divine intervention! I told the girls,”See the Lord wanted you to be friends, too.”
So, let’s be approachable and ready to share Jesus with others. God will work out all of the details!
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