Theology of Gratitude
By Natalie Campbell
“Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” - 2 Corinthians 1: 7
Entering into this Thanksgiving season as a Capital Fellow has been bittersweet. Since being together, we have spent ample time discussing a “theology of suffering.” To have a theology of suffering is to have a deep understanding and empathy for pain, and simultaneously an understanding of how pain can be redeemed and made purposeful. As these conversations began to take shape, I found myself puzzled; I was not puzzled due to a lack of understanding but instead because of familiarity. This theology was not a new idea I needed to learn to know Jesus, but rather the one that taught me who He is.
Much of my childhood was marked by true suffering. From the loss of grade school peers and adult mentors to cancer, the death of family members by old age and suicide, my own immediate family’s medical crises, and a narcissistic parent - pain and anguish were familiar figures in my home. However, these figures were not alone. Often they were accompanied by the Man of Sorrows himself, Jesus. Jesus met me in this darkness and experienced the groaning and growing pains with me. He guided me through the pains of growing in life after experiencing death. He guided me through safety from feeling emotionally exposed and vulnerable after long nights of tears. He kept His light on my path as He revealed my next steps when I felt as if my direction was gone. He loved me as a father should and gave me a rich spiritual family to be a part of. But, above all, He walked with me and suffered with me, and where pain and anguish tried to harden my heart, His gentleness drew me near.
Indeed, it is by His hands I am healed - and healing more each day. Without the pains of life, I would not be able to appreciate the joys. For that, I am so grateful. To be within this community at this time of my life has been a gift for which I am most grateful. From an all Fellows group hug, little notes, carpools to Cornerstone, and my host family’s dinner table, each of these small moments have been steeped in His goodness. I see now that through His love, my theology of suffering is becoming one of gratitude. While I continue to weep at the pain of broken things, I smile and rejoice at the life that has flourished since. For the lamb of God has his scars in Heaven, and I hope I will still have mine.
Pictures from the Week
Most of the Capital Fellows enjoying ice cream for Lauren's birthday
George with Martha's pup, Moose, after class.
A hilarious game of Code Names with the Falls Church and Fourth Fellows
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
We are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. 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!
As we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, we are deeply grateful for the Capital Fellows Season 16. They are growing deeper in faith in Christ. They're working hard and digging in to both the "taught" and "caught" elements of the Capital Fellows. Please join the Capital Fellows leadership team this week in giving thanks to God for the 15 members of Season 16.
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.
Don't Miss a Blog Post!
Signup for the Capital Fellows blog email! Emails are sent weekly during the program year. An unsubscribe link is provided in every email.