the end of “the beginning” stage and the importance of review

Tonight marks the transition of my apprenticeship from the beginning stage to the middle stage. It’s was the very last official Monday Night Totem Girls’ Core and I’m actually a little bit emotional. These young women have been such a huge part of my year, and will forever hold a monumental place as my very first core (as an apprentice)! My amazing co-leader and I planned this beautiful night that would start with a short scavenger hunt, lead into an indoor picnic with solid review time, and end with us at the beach sending off a lantern and praying together. Now the weather report said it would be raining all day (no surprise, Vancouver) so we changed our plan to a basic indoor picnic but it ended up being a gorgeous and beautiful day in the end. We stayed inside, and it was really still beautiful. In typical UCM fashion, people rolled in late but still ready to go. After a couple months of shaky attendance going anywhere from 2 people to 8 it was really great to have almost the whole crew together. We had one girl missing, but I guess it just went with tradition anyways?

The main thing of the night was just hanging out and pulling questions out of a jar to answer. It was pretty basic, but hearing about everybody’s year really brought it all into perspective for me. Every week, I would go through the same-ish routine and while I get to see some people’s minds *click!* at a new idea or theological concept, it didn’t happen too often and there wasn’t a lot of signs of what was happening in each other their lives (faith-wise). Our questions tonight were basic, just things like “who really impacted your year?” and “what would you say to somebody coming in to their first year at UBC?” but the depth of responses that came through really blew me away. These girls had come so far since those first few nights of core!! It wasn’t just their bible knowledge that expanded, but their character and faith were so much stronger!!! I didn’t realize how much difference the compound effect of core would make over a years’ time, but I’m so happy that we did that review. It was a great reminder that even when things seem like they become mundane and routine in our lives, the discipline to keep pursuing them does yield results because the Lord is at work even when we’re not aware of it. Even the nights that people couldn’t attend had significance, as their return was in many cases a reminder and dedication to pursue a deeper relationship with God through our little discipleship community. I realized how much I had actually come to really love these girls through the year and our 2 hour studies together. As we wrote end of the year cards to each other, I looked around and I felt so blessed to have so many beautiful and open hearted sisters in Christ. I never understood it so well as this, but spending so much intentional time together really broke down my stiff walls about what friendship and mentorship should actually look like in practice, and I’ve come out on the other side with a renewed excitement and appreciation for the work that God has called me to. How blessed am I?!

I’m so sad to end the official chapter of this year’s core. It feels like just last month we were beginning the year together and awkwardly laughing at oddly timed jokes, and now we’ve reached the end I never want the awkward jokes to end! It definitely goes to show that with Jesus at the foundation, any random group of people can be family, eh?

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