Here we are, just over two months into Summit Semester with just a few weeks remaining. How fast the time has passed! I would have never imagined myself in a place like this surrounded by the beautiful, breathtaking San Juan Mountains, immersed in a tight-knit community of people who have experienced many of the same things in life, being a part of the most amazing small group and being pushed to learn in such a way that leaves you asking many questions. I am so blessed to be here.
Looking back to how God worked out every single little detail to allow me to be a part of this program, I find myself standing in awe of His goodness. It truly is a once-in-a-life-time-experience and as some of the mentors have put it, a “little taste of heaven.” I see how His goodness has overflown into each one of our lives here at Semester as we continue to pursue Him and His truth. Each of us has grown in so many, different ways and the work that God is doing in each one of my peers is so amazing to witness. What a privilege it has been to experience life with them.
Living here, to say the least, has been an adventure that has also come with many challenges. Challenges that have come in the forms of rigorous studies, schedules, intellectual stretching, and being a responsible member of the community. But though those challenges can be difficult, I’ve always found that in embracing those moments and being open to what God can teach me through them, I am able to grow as a person. Often times in the moments when we’re pushed to do the hard things in life, we grow the most and are able to be better effective for God’s kingdom. The friends that I have made here have been a significant part of that growing process. It’s been such a blessing to be surrounded by people who are always there to encourage you, who are a comfort in times of grief, who love to have fun, and push you towards God’s truth. The friendships here are real and genuine, and the love that each and every person in this community shows towards one another puts a smile on my face and warms my heart.
But things don’t last forever. As I realize that Semester is soon to come to an end, it makes me want to cherish each and every moment spent here even more so, and to be truly thankful for having this opportunity to journey along some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. I will forever look back upon the memories that were made here with fondness. Those of star-gazing, camping, the conversations that have lasted into the wee hours of morning, class time, meals shared with different speakers (we had some pretty hilarious moments with Ken Turner at the table), the trips we’ve been on, dance parties, host homes, dish-pit, Grace church, Farvest Hall, the fun that we’ve had together and just how close the friendships (even the ones that I thought to be unlikely) that have been formed are. We have pretty much become a big family. Going home will be bittersweet. I’m excited to go back to my family and friends, but at the same time it’ll be hard to leave all the wonderful relationships that I have been formed over the course of the time we have stayed here at the Lodge. This is only a short season of our lives – one that we were blessed to spend together – so as we prepare to leave, my prayer is that we will be able to go back into our communities, become involved and focus on serving in the way that God calls us to. I trust that He’s going to do some pretty amazing things in each one of our lives and I’m excited to see what adventures He has planned for us on the road ahead!
Cara Halvorson joins the Summit Semester class from Glencoe, Minnesota. At the age of eight, Cara began taking piano, but a few years later made the transition to violin. She enjoys developing her skills as a musician in orchestra performance, and using her gift to glorify her heavenly Father. Her other loves include writing, capturing moments in people’s lives through photography, journaling, exploring the great outdoors, and caring for children and animals. She’s excited to grow in her relationship with God at Semester, and to become stronger in her beliefs so that she can better serve Him.