By Anna Jones
For Dr. Clark’s class last week, we read Understanding Who You Are by Larry Crabb. In the booklet, Crabb explains something that I have felt for much of my life but have never quite been able to describe in words. As Christians, we are called to live our lives for the sake of others, but in practicality, that is much easier said than done. Relationships are messy. We have all experienced the pain of being let down by someone we love, and we have all inflicted that pain on others. Intent on preventing future harm, we draw boundaries around our hearts, sharing only the parts of us we think will keep people close and concealing the parts we think will push others away.
I have certainly mastered the art of drawing such boundaries. My doubtful heart tends to believe that if I expect others to let me down, I will not be surprised or disappointed when they do. In doing so, I have deeply misunderstood God’s design for our relationships and the gift of community. I think it must break God’s heart to watch his children keep one another at arm’s length when he created us to enjoy intimate fellowship together.
The beauty of being a Capital Fellow is that there is nowhere to hide. I know this all too well, because on more than one occasion, I have wanted to hide from my fellows. Their care for me, in combination with our shared schedule which brings us together at least 4 days a week, has prevented me from doing so.
In the past year, I have been most shaped in the moments where I refused to flee from discomfort, and instead leaned into hard conversations with my friends. Occasionally, it seems that the easier route would be to avoid these conversations altogether. The truth, I have learned, is that “easier” does not always equal “better.” I have found that most misunderstandings can be resolved if we are simply willing to sit with each other and share our hearts. Where I have expected disappointment, I have been met only with grace & love from my fellow fellows.
If you were to ask each of our season’s fellows what their highlight of the Capital Fellows year has been, I would estimate that 9 times out of 10 you will be met with the same answer: community. On my drive to our kickoff retreat in August, I asked the Lord for friendship this year. If I am honest, even in that prayer my skeptical heart prepared to be disappointed. Now, six months later, not only do I have 14 friends, but I have brothers and sisters who know my heart and love me because of it. Since stepping into the mess of relationships with my fellow fellows, I have learned more about God’s character and felt more deeply his love for me than I could have ever imagined.
Pictures from the Week
Slow morning with Lizzy and Moose
Fellows in the wild
Lizzy and Natalie enjoying a bagel before work
Nothing better than being silly with the fellows while admiring a sunset and a rainbow!
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
If you know a college student that should consider joining the Capital Fellows program, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is our Contact Us Form.
About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
In the coming weeks, the Capital Fellows will be transitioning in their weekly gathering time from discussions about community to discussions about leadership. In both community and leadership roles, we are asking the fellows to consider questions like, "Who do you want to be as a leader? and "What does it mean to be a 'living sacrifice' in leadership and community?" These are hard questions that require a lot of reflection as well as real-life trying it. Please pray that the fellow would step into these challenging areas, willing to be transformed by God's Word and the indwelling Spirit. Please pray that they would, by God's grace, identify and own their hindrances to leadership and follower-ship.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
About The Fellows Initiative
Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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