My church uses the Donut Shop Coffee brand every Sunday morning to welcome our members as they enter the church doors. Whenever I smell this specific coffee brand, I think of my church. This is because I have smelled this coffee for the last six years.
Over the years, I’ve attended and served at my church. I’ve participated and served in every imaginable way – ushering, singing, assisting with production, volunteering in Kid Ministry, and serving at summer camp. Engaging in my church community has allowed me to connect with God and other people who follow Jesus. Additionally, I understand that spiritual faith is a skill. Like other skills, it will be less strong if I do not continually and intentionally condition my faith.
Throughout high school, I asked one question quite frequently.
What about after I graduate?
Will I be able to transfer my faith to a community that is not Jesus-centered? When my mother is not heavily encouraging me to become involved in my church community, will I take the initiative to find and connect with a church community? How will I serve Jesus when there are no ushers, choir, or a Kids Ministry?
While these questions were swarming around in my brain, I saw a flyer on Instagram explaining that Orange Students was looking for student writers to write devotionals. My mother and others were aware of my love for writing, so they encouraged me to submit a devotional for the chance to be published. Soon, I found myself writing a devotional for the opportunity for thousands of people around the world to see my love for Jesus.
To this day, I clearly remember sitting on my bed going through my email when my eyes ran across the word “CONGRATULATIONS” in big, bold letters. I was so excited! The devotional I submitted was going to be shared all around the world! With this excitement, I continued writing devotionals in each following season. Before I knew it, I had written devotionals for over a year.
Almost two years later, I am a freshman in college. Due to going to college in a small town without a car for transportation, I have very few traditional serving opportunities like ushering, singing, and serving kids. Being a student writer has allowed me to serve Jesus in a non-conventional way. I can connect with God in a way I did not previously think was possible. After serving in my church for years, I have found a way to serve Jesus with the gift He gave me. Not only has becoming a Student Writer helped me transition my faith to college, but it has given me a way to use my gifts to serve Jesus.
Now, over 100 miles away from my home church, I can still smell the Donut Shop Coffee brand as I sit in my college library writing this blog. By writing this blog as a Student Writer, I know that no matter the distance from my church family, I have an opportunity and a gift that allows me to serve Jesus.