Packing and goodbyes. And the normal chaos that comes with moving to a different place, even if just miles down the road, and especially if hours will now separate you from the place you have always called home. Anticipation, excitement, maybe a little bit of nerves… those are all things I can guarantee you might experience this week. So let this take your mind off all that for a second.

Second years are underway moving into EC housing, and incoming first years in a sure-to-be-speedy 4 days from today. How did time move so quickly? I have no answer for this, but I cannot WAIT until we are all finally together.

On that first day we’re all together, we will each look around; looking into the faces and eyes of people we don’t yet know, and stories we haven't yet heard. And in that moment, you will have a choice. A choice to let down the walls, and step into what God has for you this year; to go in full force, let Him change you and sculpt you and mold your heart, all while using those same faces, those same stories. Those people you see on the first day, they aren’t going anywhere, and they will slowly but surely become your people, your closest confidents, your best friends, your brothers and sisters.

Because this is what I know, when you consciously make that choice to let down your walls, and surrender this year to God, all while knowing that these people are important, He will do more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine. As incoming EPIC Commission students, I know that not one of you are here on accident, or by a coincidence, or by a lack of other things to do. From the very beginning Jesus planned this specific group of people, down to your roommate, and even to the person who will end up being your best friend. He planned it this way because He knows you so well. He knows what you need, how you feel loved, how you operate in friendship. He knows what you need to work on and where you need to grow. He knows your hurts and every bit of your story, and He chose this group of people to push you, love you, grow you, pull the giftings out of you, and most of all to come alongside you this year. They will become your people. The ones you laugh with and cry with. The ones you have the uncomfortable, but rich conversations with. The ones you stay up late and then slightly regret it the next day with.

The people you get to surround yourself with this year, is just one aspect of EPIC Commission, but for me it is one of the most important. During my first year, I didn’t do friendships completely right, and still, God graced me with ones that challenged and changed me. He allowed me to have close and intimate friendships, centered all on Jesus, that I know will last for the rest of my life.

So incoming EPIC Commission students, I am so excited to see each of you, and learn from you. And watch friendships form, and in turn our hearts change. Praying that He would prepare our hearts, and help us prepare for this next year ahead… it’s going to be the BEST year ever.

Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something BRAND-NEW. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
Isaiah 43:19

Madeline Murphy
Incoming 2nd year student