Hello to all my ministry partners and more!
This is extremely overdue, and for that, I'm so sorry.
Needless to say, the end of the apprenticeship felt much like a sprint to the finish line.
And my wedding directly after? Add on another mile race to that sprint.
I know that all sounds so dramatic, but it's genuinely what it felt like. This was mainly due to back to back events, and trying to finish well with full effort rather than giving into the 'apprentice-itis' chasing me down. Despite the craziness, though, I feel like the month of May was definitely a sweet month that left me feeling so grateful to have experienced all the apprenticeship has to offer. I think one of the biggest ways this showed up was through community. So, as a final blog to the apprenticeship, I want to highlight two different areas in which community has blessed me this school year.
1. The Collin Students
At our last TNF, I was in charge of giving the benediction, which is a blessing to the community as a way to end our time together. I definitely cried as I read Ephesians 3:14-21, a prayer from Paul to the Ephesians. Mainly, this is because it was hitting me just how deeply I had come to care for these students. When I looked around, I knew majority of them not just by their name, but by the growth God had done in them this year. I had come to see friendships formed by unlikely people and reconciliation between those who might have otherwise decided to give up if not for Christ. And most importantly to me, I saw students who had become some of my closest friends within that year.
These students had my heart, and while I think it could be easy to think I was crying out of sadness, I wasn't. I was crying out of joy for how much I've seen God move and work in these students, and out of how grateful I was to be able to witness that this year. These students countless times over showed me and reminded me just how persistent and beautiful God's love is for us, and even more so, how these years for them are pivotal. I remember experiencing so much love and support from FOCUS and college, and it made me so grateful to know that God was giving them each that too.
2. The Apprentices
In May, we had our final assignment of giving our end of year sermons. The topic was about our top 3 takeaways from the apprenticeship, and dear goodness, this was a doozy to write. God definitely exceeded my expectations about what exactly I would learn this year. For me, I talked about how my emotions don't define me, how I have the freedom to be, and how God really is trustworthy and good. If you want to take a listen to my sermon, or any of the other Collin apprentices, I'll link the video here.
When listening to these sermons, I was blown away at just how honest and raw they were. Even more so, it was so humbling and exciting to me to see how tangible these lessons were in the lives of these apprentices. They weren't just lessons they were learning, but growth we had each seen in real time from each other. I was reminded again at just how prevalent the Spirit is in our lives, and how evident he will work if we allow him too.
This apprentice group holds a really special place in my heart, and I'm so grateful to have been able to experience this year with them. While we all may not be super close, I know that when I look at each of them, I'm simply left feeling grateful, in awe, and in adoration of who each of them are and who God is making them to be.
This year has been such a blessing and treat to experience, and I'm so grateful to have been able to do it due to the support and prayer of each of yall. Thank you for allowing me to go through this apprenticeship and be the hands and feet on the Wylie Collin campus. This is God's campus first and foremost, and it's crazy to me how much the bigger vision of his Kingdom isn't made possible by one person, but by the collective whole of many. You each have shown me that this year. Thank you, and I'm so excited for what God is going to continue doing this upcoming school year.
Orion Clements (oh yeah, I also got married. But I'll save that for the next blog)