Silent might more accurately describe Mary than quiet. She began coming to Christian Fellowship Club in 8th grade and then, never stopped. She came to everything, always, even if she didn’t know anyone, but still rarely said a word. Her quietness prevailed discussion-based lessons and resisted encouragement from her leader, Jen, to speak. So, it was surprising when she began pursuing Jen with texts like” I miss you, let’s hang out”. A rare occurrence from the average student, let alone one this quiet.
As their friendship grew, Mary continued to come to everything. She invited friends when she could, but was never discouraged by a group of strangers. She was always willing to step outside of her comfort zone and try something new which left her perfectly poised for her junior year.
That year, Mary’s private school made the decision to enforce a closed campus in order to remain open for students during the COVID pandemic. This left Jen on the outside, unable to lead Christian Fellowship Club. Quiet Mary with her desire to belong, her pursuit of support, and her ever expanding comfort zone, identified an online Bible study about Ruth to lead her peers through during their normal club times with Jen tuning in from Zoom. She also invited friends to church and chose passages of scripture to read with them. By the end of Junior year, Mary was a leader with a voice all her own.
Her senior year, it was no surprise that she asked to share her testimony with her peers. She had been to a Campus Life Private School event as an underclassman where she heard senior speak about the college application experience. Their stories impacted her, and she hoped her own experience would benefit younger students.
When Mary spoke her testimony, her voice touched student and leader alike. She shared the challenges of her senior year, the incredible pressure of performing with excellence, and her struggle with the question “Where do I get my value?”. She was a student at a college prep school and the pressure to succeed was enormous and rejection from colleges felt fatal. As applications were submitted and letters received back, Mary was forced to navigate God’s will for her life. Ultimately, she became excited for the future God was leading her toward. Her testimony invited younger classmen into her struggle, explained how she worked through it, and described the joy of trusting God on the other side.
No longer quiet, Mary uses her voice to speak of God’s goodness.
Vintage microphone photo created by jannoon028 – www.freepik.com