By Lizzy Swoboda
As I write this, I am finding that it is nearly impossible to encapsulate my thoughts, emotions, and what the Lord has taught me during my fellows year, but I want to attempt to describe how wonderfully growing and encouraging it has been. It seems as if the program keeps wizzing by no matter my attempts to soak it all in and slow it down, and I cannot help but be overwhelmingly thankful as these last few weeks quickly approach - thankful for new opportunities, new perspectives, and a group of people who listen and love remarkably well.
Last week in Bill Clark’s Relationships and Identity class (which is always a highlight of my week), we talked about the power of listening and how being listened to makes a person open, unfold, and expand. As we practiced techniques and discussed how good listening creates a sense of belonging and purpose, I realized how well Season 16 listens and how loved I feel because of it. I have had the privilege of being in many strong Christian communities, but I have never been in a group of peers that bears my burdens and listens to me like this one does. It is terrifying and disarming, but has given me a clear picture of the love Christ has for us.
I was reminded of this the other night when our whole class went to see Les Miserables at the Kennedy Center; it was AMAZING. I was feeling so proud of myself near the end because I had almost made it the whole way through without crying (a true feat), but then we got to the epilogue. I lose it every time Fantine and Éponine welcome Jean Valjean into eternity singing, “To love another person is to see the face of God,” but this time was a little different. I have always thought that line was pretty dramatic and probably somehow heretical, but as I sat in the balcony on my red cushy seat, surrounded by my friends, the sentiment behind this statement actually hit me.
I know the Lord better now than I did when I came here in August, and it is because of how well this community listens to, celebrates, and mourns with one another. Loving and being loved by them has been a joy and has deepened my understanding of the character of God, and for that, I am VERY grateful.
Pictures From The Week
The group at Les Mis!
Crumbl cookies for the best peer counseling group out there
We love a good ole birthday affirmation
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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.
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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.
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