Parent Partnership: Encouragement for a mother’s heart
March 20th, 2013 | Becky Spain
After midterm exams and Spring Break, everyone is back on campus and looking forward to the second half of the semester. I know as a parent you will be supporting your student through prayer and encouragement while they complete their required work for the second half of the semester.
Just as you like to encourage your student, today I would like to encourage your heart as a parent. I know one of the main reasons many of you have sent your son or daughter to Evangel for his or her education is the environment here that fosters spiritual growth. I’ve mentioned before that as a parent of an Evangel student, I have some privileges that most parents with students here don’t have since I also work on campus. One of those privileges is that I occasionally get to sit in on a Chapel service.
Though staff and faculty are invited to attend all Chapel services, my work schedule doesn’t allow me to go to as many as I would like. When I do get the chance to go, it still surprises and moves me when I see our students in Chapel.
Today, I’d like to share an experience of sitting in the balcony during a recent service, allowing you to see through the eyes of a parent cloaked as a staff member:
As I move up the stairs to my seat in the corner of the Chapel balcony, I can hear the students lifting their voices to God even before I get inside. The minute I open the Chapel door and walk into the service, the Spirit of the Lord hits me like a warm gust of air on a chilly morning. I can feel the presence of the Lord in this room.
I take my seat in the balcony and look down over the sea of students. I can’t make it through the first worship song without tears welling up in my eyes. A few students are up on the stage leading our worship time. You can tell by the expressions on their faces that they are truly entering in and worshiping God, and we are just there as witnesses.
The altars are filled with students during this time of praise. Some are praying, some are singing and some are just standing in His presence with arms reaching out to Him.
As the music builds in praise to God, and this is my favorite part, I look out over that sea of students and see hands lifted to God in total surrender and praise. Not just a few, but so many that you can’t see the students themselves, just hands lifted to our God in worship. The tears are no longer welling in my eyes; they now stream down my face. These young students, at this pivotal time in their lives, are seeking God wholeheartedly, boldly, demonstratively.
Among that sea of students stands one young man who is one of the most important people in my life. He is my son. He tells me often since starting at Evangel how he is seeking God’s will for his life, and how this is because of what he has been learning in Chapel about what God has for him. He tells me that he has come to understand that God has a plan just for him, and he is so excited about it. He even wrote a beautiful letter telling me how much it means to him to get to be here and how he is growing spiritually, thanking me for my part in making his attendance at Evangel possible.
I look back out over the sea of students and pray that each one will experience God anew, like my son has been; that each one will open their heart to God’s will and come to understand how special they are to Him. I get excited about what the lives of these students will someday become as they grow spiritually during their time here. And I am thankful that we have this Chapel time not only to minister to our students, but because they minister to me.
Want more? You can listen in on the messages from Chapel services too — by going to the EU Chapel podcasts page.