Friendships and Community

Before I started my time at Summit Semester, I was lonely and hurt from years of relationships that ended in those friends hating me. I was sad more often than not, and that sadness had become comfortable. I was angry at God for the hurt He had allowed in my life, which meant that I talked to Him less. I closed myself off from getting to know people more deeply, and from allowing them to get to truly know me.

I lost who I was.

Semester and the community of people I grew to love there changed all that for me, I still feel lonely or sad at times, and the things people have said or done to me in the past continue to be hurtful, but I don’t dwell on it nearly as much anymore. I’ve had so many more days where I feel genuinely, radiantly happy, and have been able to share my joy with others, and it makes my heart feel so full. I’ve learned to be braver and to care enough about others to be sincerely curious about how they are doing. In being known and loved so well by people at Semester through my vulnerability, I am rediscovering the person God created me to be.

I’m no longer angry with Him, and it’s grown easier to talk to Him.

I have much to learn. People and their love and approval can be an idol for me. I need to trust in His sovereignty and everlasting love and mercy. I must form and keep better habits, including spending time immersed in Scripture. I am not finished being sanctified or becoming who God wants me to be. I am not always brave or kind or loving towards others; often, my self-centeredness and the comforts of being sad continue to bind me. Still, I have grown and been formed and built up during my time and through the people at Semester.

God has surely been working in my heart.

Semester was a place of growth, of ups and downs, of learning to work through both joy and sorrow together. It was a place where both love and truth were taught and communicated. The adventure was had that made many of us students feel alive, and the formation of a new tight-knit family at Semester was truly wonderful. Between studying worldviews, dancing, going on difficult yet bonding hikes, eating meals together, learning to worship with our heads, hearts, and hands, crying and laughing together, celebrating holidays, rejoicing over the baptisms of our brothers and sisters, and so much more, Semester has become a thing I will never forget. The memories and all I learned will forever impact and change me, and for that, I am forever grateful.

By Lauren Robinson, Lauren, 19, is from Boston, Massachusetts. She loves music, arts, reading, and nature. Lauren is the second generation in her family to attend Summit. She decided to attend Semester to build deep friendships, grow in her relationship with the Lord, and learn how to be a light for Christ. Lauren hopes the program will help her stand strong in her worldview in a fast-paced and often dangerously shifting culture. Lauren is unsure of the plans God has for her after Semester, but she wants to do something to serve and love those broken, lost, and in need in a personal way. She very much looks forward to her time at Semester and is excited about the ways God will use it in her life.