Did you know that it’s possible for night to not be dark? At Cedar Lake Camp, a couple hours after dinner, we straggle over the arching wooden bridge that leads to an island in the middle of a lake, where a bonfire is beginning to blaze. The sparks shed a little light on our circle of sisters, but it’s the stars that take your breath away, and the edges of the horizon back behind the wooded hills that glow in the dark. Hundreds, thousands of pinpricks of lights – God’s confetti, my sweet friend Katie and I call it – sparkle in the expanse of blues and blacks above our heads, reminding us of the Creator who brought us all together.
Because what shines even brighter than the stars – what makes the night, light – are the people around me. My chapter, my tribe. I realize tonight that I could spend the rest of my life creating and pouring into spaces like this one – full of promise and prayer and pursuit of the Lord alongside one another – and never get tired of it. Phi Lamb is my people, it’s where I found community but it’s also where I found Jesus, living and active and transforming lives, and that’s what got me to stay for six semesters.
Out of everything we do as a chapter – from the devos that mark us as sisters for the Lord to the events like formal and big-little that make us a sorority – retreat is my very favorite thing. We leave everything we came here carrying at the door, unpacking it slowly as the weekend goes along with God and with each other, then we leave what we need to here and take what we need to home. For me, that looks like unpacking expectations and obligations, leaving fears and failures, and taking grace upon grace. Along with the reminder that this may be my last retreat, but my sisters aren’t going anywhere. We can’t do it all alone, and the Lord knew what He was doing when He brought me this community to do it with.