I came to college fully expecting to join a sorority. My mother as well as most of the women in our family had all belonged to the same sorority in college, and I was sure I would fit in just as well. God had other plans for me!
However, when I got to Vanderbilt, it became clear that a Panhellenic sorority was not for me. So many of my friends have joined one, and they love it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them. It’s just not the community I was searching for, or that God had called me to. I spent most of my freshman year instead searching for a niche to fit in, where I could merge all the pieces of my identity that were the most valuable to me, without much success. I had wonderful friends all over campus, but I didn’t have a place to go when things were hard. I didn’t have a community that I could contribute to, and that could pour into me consistently.
My journey to becoming a part of the Phi Lamb community at Vanderbilt began with my friend Hannah, who followed me into the bathroom when I began crying in Rand the night of my Pappaw’s death and then talked tearstained me into praying with her. She was the first person at Vanderbilt I felt like I could be completely raw and vulnerable with – probably because we literally started off that way! But also because Hannah strove to know me fully, good and bad, and I could be my whole self around her. What a gift that was after a semester of trying to figure out who I was and what my life at college would look like!
I didn’t join Phi Lamb second semester freshman year, even though I knew enough about it by then to know it was something I wanted, thanks to Hannah’s friendship. I don’t have a good reason, except that God knew how much I would need this community this past fall. Not just any community, either – a community of Christian women committed to two things. The first is that we are dedicated to glorifying God and making Christ known on our campus. The second is that we are committed to loving each other and knowing each other fully as sisters in Christ.
Our chapter at new member induction, last semester!
This week is my first experience from the other side of recruitment, talking to the new faces (potential baby Lambs!!!) who came to our mock chapter tonight. It hit me as my friend Ariana spoke during tonight’s devotional how powerful Phi Lamb has been in my life. When I fell down in my faith, when what I knew as truth was cast in shadows of doubt, when I cried, when I laughed, when I did dumb things and cool things and big things and small things – these girls were there to do life right along with me – and that’s just one semester! Not only that, but they were there to point me to Christ, in that by loving me for all of who I am and seeking to know me on a deeper level, they showed me that this is exactly what God’s love does. He knows me fully, and has saved me from sin all the same, and wants to do life with me, too. How wonderful for that to take a form on earth – in our friendships, in the way we live our lives as sisters – so we can understand the love of God more fully.
Did I mention we also do fun sorority things?! Not only do we attend prayer nights, prayer groups and retreats, but we also have bigs & littles, date parties, formals, and service.
Tonight’s devotional was also a great reminder about gratitude. I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of a community that encourages me to be filled with Christ’s love and let that love pour out of me into the lives of others. I couldn’t be more grateful for a God whose timing is perfect, whose plan for my life included something as wonderful as my sisters in Phi Lamb.
My Phi Lamb family & new member class – some of my dearest friends