My START A DELIGHT STORY - UAB
Claire Elliott, originally from Nashville, TN, started a Delight chapter at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as a freshman! Funny enough, Claire learned about Delight Ministries from a friend of hers, who had just undergone wisdom teeth surgery and rambled about her involvement with Delight. Claire was curious and determined to bring Jesus to her campus, so she road-tripped back home to TN and collaborated with Kenz to get a chapter started on the UAB campus!
We wanted to know more about Claire’s journey and are so excited to share more about our conversation!
Q: WHEN DID YOU START A DELIGHT CHAPTER ON YOUR CAMPUS?
A: We officially launched February 5 of this semester.
Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START A DELIGHT CHAPTER?
A: It’s a pretty funny story… I’m actually a freshman and over the summer I was with a friend that was going to the University of Tennessee, and she was drugged up on medications for getting her wisdom teeth out . . . she was telling me about random stuff and then started telling me about Delight. So I looked it up and I was like, I feel like this is missing from my campus—I want to start one.I didn’t really know what it was, so I started looking into it and realized, wow, we really do need this on our campus. And it was weird at the time because my relationship with God wasn’t the best it’s been, so I’m not really sure why He picked that moment.
Q: HOW DID YOU FIND OTHER WOMEN TO LEAD WITH YOU?
A: Also another really cool God-moment: starting school was really rough… Every time I would mention about Delight, and… was really excited about it… that excitement wasn’t matched by people. At one point in the semester, I was really discouraged about my decision to start a Delight chapter; I was on the phone with [a friend] and she was like, “Don’t feel like you need to do this if you don’t feel like it’s right.” I knew I had already went through the other conference process, but I told her, “You’re right, let’s pray about it.” She prayed that I would find at least one other person who would pursue Delight with me and push me through it. After that, literally that day, I told this girl I met in my honors group about Delight and she texted me later that day about it saying she was super interested. She really helped pursue it and pushed me! And then that lead me to other girls . . . nine of them.
Q: HOW DID YOU GROW AS A LEADER AND WHAT DID GOD TEACH YOU THROUGH STARTING A DELIGHT CHAPTER?
A: So much! I’ve been constantly reminded that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called . . . It’s hard for me to admit that I can’t handle things—and college was a lot of not being in control. It was super chaotic, and I really questioned my faith a lot. I got insecure because I wasn’t making friends like my roommate was and turned to some things that were not life-giving. I saw that affect my relationship with God because I stopped going to church, stopped praying, and didn’t have anyone keeping my accountable.
Through Delight though, I was able to refocus. During our first informational meeting I was like, “Y’all, I’m not gonna lie, I just told you all about Delight and everything, but this is the first time I’ve prayed in two months . . .” They are just so awesome; having a group of women who love the Lord with all their hearts and want to pursue them helps me be vulnerable with them about my brokenness and where I am weak and where the devil has ahold of my life, and by doing that, it really breaks a lot of chains, and they help me let go of those chains. Obviously God sent Jesus to die on the cross to break those chains, but I felt like I was still holding on to them still everywhere I went, and [the girls at Delight] really encouraged me to let them go.
Q: WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF THE PROCESS FOR YOU? WHAT MADE THE HARD THINGS WORTH IT?
A: Realizing that it’s okay to not be perfect, and that God uses you the most through your brokenness. Not just for myself but for all of my other leaders and everyone in leadership. I don’t think [I] realized that before this leadership position. It’s definitely been worth it because every time I try to make something happen, it completely falls apart, it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean my expectations, it’s frustrating, it leaves me feeling unsatisfied, so when I let God take control, allowing things to just happen, that freedom takes the pressure off of me.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE GIRL WHO FEELS CALLED TO START A CHAPTER BUT IS AFRAID SHE ISN’T THE GIRL FOR THE JOB?
A: If you feel that heart tug and feel it in your chest, I have to do it, I really need to do it, you are the girl for it. It’s not about you, it’s about God. It’s such an honor to be used by God and if it’s something that He’s really placing on your heart, there’s a reason for that. You may never know that reason, but that’s okay. Just remain faithful and pray about everything. It helps so much to talk to people who have more life experience and who are encouraging you to do what the Lord wants you to do.
Q: HOW ARE THE WOMEN ON YOUR CAMPUS BEING IMPACTED BY THIS MINISTRY?
A: The community. You can come, be really honest, talk through hard things, and really find girls that are gonna pursue the Lord alongside you because it’s really hard to find that . . . a lot of girls like [Delight] because it’s so relevant and usually always applies, and if not, there’s something and they understand and that leads them into something that is relevant. Delight dates are probably the coolest things because my leaders have enjoyed going to meet girls, grab coffee, and talk with them for hours. It’s really awesome to see the impact of that.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT DELIGHT?
A: I have never been confident in my femininity, if that makes sense? I never wore pink because it would make me stand out. But through Delight, I wear pink all the time and am way more confident! A year ago, if you would have told me I’d wearing this, I would’ve been like no way! I’ve never been a fan of sticking out, but if it’s for Delight, that’s fine by me!
As we spoke with Claire, her love for Jesus and her willingness to do what He is calling her to do inspired me. She took many leaps to start a Delight chapter on the UAB campus and because of her perseverance, girls are growing together through Christ and embracing their PINK!
Thank you, Claire, for sharing your story with us and for inspiring future Delight leaders!
Do you feel called to lead on your campus?
We’re looking for women like YOU to launch and lead a Delight chapter on your university. Stepping into the call of leadership can seem scary and intimidating at first, but stories like Claire’s remind us of how God walks with us every step of the way. After all, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! We’d love to chat with you about taking that first step into leadership. To learn more about starting a Delight chapter on YOUR campus, click the button below!
About the Author
Hey sister! I’m Mallorie Shearer. I’m from Marion, Indiana but am finishing up my last year of college in Indianapolis. Aside from my love for Jesus, some my favorite things include coffee, good books and podcasts, time outside, and writing! Writing serves as my creative outlet and is one of the best ways I can express how God is working in my heart. What I treasure the most is my worship time, which is usually (oddly) during my jogs, in church, or around a circle with some of my closest sister friends. I also love to lead bible studies and serve on many different leadership teams, hoping to reflect Jesus’s heart as much as I can!