“He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me, because he delighted in me.” // Psalm 18:19
Reflecting on the past three years of college, I am reminded that I serve a God who loves me so much that he will rescue me over and over again. He saves me from myself daily, breaks my heart for what breaks his and uses soft whispers to nudge me back in the right direction. He replaces lies with truth, apathy with love and despair with joy. He rescues me because he delights in me.
And he delights in you.
As college women, we are especially susceptible to the enemy’s lies regarding our worth and value. I remember one-night last year I called my mom crying because when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was my sin. Staring at my reflection I saw a broken heart, dirty hands and a torn dress. I cried as I mourned the little girl dressed in white I believed I had once been.
When we are called to serve God, so often we look in the mirror and only see our shortcomings. We feel unprepared and unqualified and the enemy’s lies seem to make sense.
“I’m not a good enough Christian”
“I’m still so broken”
“God wouldn’t want to use ME”
All of these thoughts are far from the truth. If you look closely at the Bible, it is clear that God uses broken people. King David, a man after God’s own heart, was an adulterer and murderer. Jacob was a cheater. Peter denied Jesus three times. Jonah ran away from God’s calling. Being broken is an opportunity for God to use your story to lead others to the cross in a radical way.
When I first learned about Delight I was coming out of a messy breakup and dark season of depression. My world had shattered, but as time went on it was clear that God had rescued me. I began to feel a sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt in years. He rescued me from a life of hopelessness, joylessness and unrepentant sin. In a time of complete vulnerability with God I felt him say that I was his precious daughter, dressed in white and that I was finally home.
In the months trying to regain my strength, I felt God put this ministry on my heart in a big way. I started envisioning what it would look like to have a Delight chapter on my campus, and how it would transform girls’ college experiences. I began doodling the word delight in my journal and praying for the ministry. I had no idea why God had picked that ministry, and I still doubted my ability to lead women, but I just rolled with it.
As the school year quickly approached it was clear that my broken heart still needed mending. I felt sad and lonely and questioned why God would allow me to feel such deep sadness for so long. A couple weeks into the school year I met a girl interested in women’s ministry and took her out to lunch. I could tell that she loved Jesus and had a beautiful, pure heart. As we sat down to eat she asked me how I was doing, and in the spirit of vulnerability, I told her that I was really struggling with the aftermath of a breakup. I explained the dynamics of the relationship and that God had rescued me so that I could pursue Him with an undivided heart.
Immediately she began to cry and explained that she was in a similar situation. I felt so humbled and began to bawl at the realization that God was using me right then and there. He was using my brokenness, the hurt I did not understand, to help my new friend. We sat and cried and I felt God knit our hearts together, allowing us to share each other’s burden. All of a sudden, the pain I had felt for months was worth it.
Now, that girl— one of my dearest friends— is on the Delight leadership team with me and she is using her story to lead and inspire other women. Starting the chapter at my university wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of work, but every Thursday at 7:30 I thank God for Delight because it has changed my life. There is no better picture of Christ’s love than a room of 30 women worshipping, crying, praying and laughing together.
Today, I am still working on seeing myself as the little girl dressed in white, but over the past 8 months leading Delight I have discovered so much truth about my worth and identity. I know that he is doing an amazing work in my heart and on my campus, and I am so thankful for that. I have accepted the call to start a Delight as an imperfect human saved by a perfect God. This ministry is not about being qualified to lead, but being willing to let God rescue you and use you in ways you could never even imagine.
Remember, we serve a God who says:
“I want to use your pain”
“I am calling you to greater things”
“I delight in you”
Thanks to Hailey Lederer, the founder of Delight at Loyola Marymount University for sharing your "Start a Delight" story! If you're interested in starting Delight at your university, please click here. We'd love to tell you more about the Delight community and chat with you about the possibility of starting a chapter at your school! Please send questions to email@example.com.