by Chloe McLaughlin, John Wesley Scholar, Class of 2016
Happy Summer Future Wildcats!
I am so excited to greet you all and welcome you into the John Wesley Honors College community! I am Chloe McLaughlin, the Chaplain of the JWHC for the 2014-2015 academic year. I hope you are having wonderful summers and you are looking forward to moving into IWU in the fall.
As I contemplated what should say to you, I reflected on the feelings I experienced as a freshman. I love college, but I will not lie to you, it is not always easy. My freshman year was wonderful and life changing, but it was also difficult.
One of my favorite passages is 1 Peter 1:6-9:
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
This passage has become a defining mantra of my life. Every year is a new and exciting challenge, and some years we may not see God, but in everything we each must seek joy because it is that joyful praise in times of anxiety that defines the genuineness of our faith.
When I am overwhelmed, scared, or feeling lost, I turn to God and pray that he will give me joy in those trials. I encourage you that whether you are anxious or excited you will approach college as a new opportunity to seek God and seek his joy.
We serve a mysterious and loving God and in everything he is shaping us and teaching us. Embrace every trial as a moment to trust and search for God. As one of our beloved JWHC professors would say, “Wake up each morning and say, ‘Today I’m going on an adventure with Jesus.’”
I truly cannot wait to share in your journey here at Indiana Wesleyan. I know from experience that God will open and close the right doors for each of us in our time on campus. Know that each of you are in my prayers and the prayers of the other officers.
Today my prayer for you is that you would seek joy while seeking God’s plans for you. I pray that each of you have a blessed and rejuvenating summer!
I cannot wait to see you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed come August! You are so loved!