“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” - James 4:8
When I started college two years ago, one of the things that scared me the most was my faith. Not that I didn’t have faith, but that I feared losing it. Growing up I never enjoyed going to church. I sometimes assumed that I would be that kid in college who stopped going to church and stopped loving God. This verse from James sort of represents my faith-journey in college (so far). The past few years of my journey, I didn’t necessarily have to worry about my faith because I felt that I was always surrounded by God. Most days, I sought Him out. But more often than not, God called out to me.
Part of the way He did that was through Delight. In case you’re unaware, I’m usually the person who takes the more “professional” photographs for the website and Instagram.
My Delight story started in 2013 (my freshman year) when I met Mackenzie Wilson at a women’s retreat put on by our college. At that time Delight was something that was just getting popular. I knew a few girls that went to the regular meetings, but overall it was just another group on campus which I hadn’t yet heard of. It was only available at a few other campuses across the US, but was slowly building steam. Mackenzie gave me all the information about the group at the women’s retreat, and I ended up going to my first meeting a little while later with one of my good friends. At first it was just another bible study I attended. The girls were nice, but a lot of them weren’t people from my group of friends. As the months went on, I took it upon myself to photograph events and worship sessions I attended. No one had asked me to, and to this day I’m not sure what compelled me to start doing so. At first I would share them on Instagram or with the Facebook group, and eventually it turned into something more than that. Mac and Kenz started contacting me on Facebook and texting me to see if I could photograph the Delight merchandise or take photos for the website. The culmination of this ended up being the very recent release of the Delight Summer Series video which I filmed and edited myself. Somehow I went from being the timid freshman who took pictures without asking, to being this (rising) junior who feels called to take professional photos and edit extensively for various projects. It’s not a job per-say, but it’s very close.
A few nights ago I had a nice chat with one of the other girls who works closely with Delight (her name is Erin), and we both were astonished at what the Lord was doing with the organization. Neither of us could have predicted how involved we would be, but we’re both extremely excited to see how the organization will keep growing.
While I was doing one of my devotionals for the summer series, I started thinking about how God has blessed me, and of course, Delight came to mind. I also thought about how God led me to this point in my life. If you had asked me what I expected my college experience to be like, I don’t think I would have said that I’d be an Audio and Video Production major who spends much of her free time working with an up-and-coming women’s ministry organization. It just sounds absurd! And yet, here I am.
So often in life we spend our time thinking about the future. Obviously it is nice to plan for the future, but sometimes in the midst of that wonder, we forget God has other plans. At first it’s scary. If we let him, He takes our life into His hands and suddenly we are doing something completely random and unplanned. There have been a number of times in my college career that I’ve questioned God’s judgement and questioned His plans for my life. Since I have started to see Him work, I truly started noticing all the growth he's provided and also all the blessings He’s given me. I know that He will give me great things as long as I put my life in His hands.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
If God had never given my dad a job at a university, I never would have gone to my current college. If God had never rejected me from the songwriting program at my school, I wouldn’t be an Audio and Video Production major and a Photography minor. If I had never had such great mentors my freshman year, I never would have gone on the Women’s Retreat, never would have met Mackenzie, never would have heard of Delight. I’ve realized that God is using Delight to do so many wonderful things (one of those things is definitely the Summer Series.) I know I sound a little weird advertising Delight in a blog post on the Delight website, but this isn’t really about Delight itself. It’s about God’s influence on my life and God’s influence on your life.
Theres an old saying that says “As one door closes, another door opens,” but I think God closes doors on purpose to keep them closed. Sometimes we need closed doors to push us into a different room. And sometimes, we won’t recognize the need for that closed door until a few years down the line.
I’m starting to look back and see my closed doors that led to bigger, better open doors. And only God has done that for me. So even when it’s tough, trust the Lord. He knows way more than you give Him credit for, and sometimes He’ll lead you to something beautiful that you couldn’t have even imagined.
- Jenna // @jennaclarek