by Julia Faulkner
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14
Six weeks in and counting! It’s been less than two months since the Capital Fellows Kickoff Retreat at the start of September, and our time together has already been so rich. Our responsibilities and classes are challenging and stretching us, in new and rewarding ways.
One curiously difficult aspect of this program is the extent to which we are exposed. Between our classes, our internships, our church commitments and all else, we are “on” and visible pretty much every day of the week. The topics we deal with are deep and at times heavy, and the packed schedule leaves little room for withdrawal. We’ve been actively vulnerable since Day 1, when we began this entire process by sharing our individual stories and personal testimonies of God working in our lives.
I will not lie; being seen gets uncomfortable. It’s also an oxymoron. Is not one of our deepest desires as people to be seen? We crave to be seen, noticed and known. Yet still our most daunting insecurities come from the fear of others seeing us as we really are or seeing through to what we’re wrestling with. At least, mine do.
On Wednesday night, our fellows class gathered for our monthly “Life and Leadership” meeting at the Forsyth's home (James Forsyth is the senior pastor of McLean Presbyterian Church). These evenings involve relaxed time eating dinner together, followed by a lesson and discussion with James. These are special sessions. They are protected hours to laugh and enjoy each other’s company while continuing to apply the Gospel to our lives. I’m grateful for this environment that encourages continued openness, which in turn shows us all more of Christ.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
These last six weeks, I have felt the risk of true vulnerability. However, I have also felt exceptional freedom and empowerment in what seems like radical love and community.
The God of the universe knows us, and He longs to walk with us. He wants to use us the way He’s made us. This is such a beautiful assurance. As a Fellow, it is a blessing and a privilege to have nine months to learn more about His design.
In the end, it’s why we put our all into this program: there’s no one better to know than Jesus, and there’s no one we are better known by.
Pictures from the Week