To the New Season of RAs (14-15)

Today is your day. Seriously, today begins your next year. Today will be a mix of exhaustion, really giddy excitement, and the feeling you get when you come to summer camp on the first day.

Today is your day.

You get to be with your staff, meet your RD, start piecing together the story of your year together.

You get to move into the homes that you will host residents in when they're home sick or just need a space to be, where you'll have really good and hopefully some really tough conversations.

Today is your day.

From this point forward until school begins and even when school starts, life will be more like a crazy whirlwind than a gradual moving pace. and it'll be good.

Today, you are probably all over the place but hopefully really excited.

You are getting ready to embark on a year long journey that I hope challenges, stretches and inspires you.

Right now, you're in the phase where its you, your staff, soon to be your walkabout teams and your guides and then your staff again. Please rest in these moments, this is precious time you have with these people until you have to do what you're really here to do (trust me it's not run around like its summer camp with some really awesome people, though you will at some point wish it was).

This is the time when you prepare your heart and soul for Walkabout. Ten days that I hope wrecks the mess out of you in the best of ways. I know it sure did for me and those quiet moments in the depths of the Ansel Adams with nothing but the bare goodness of people and hearing God whisper to you through a blanket of stars not covered in smog, are moments I still cling to.

Being an RA shaped a lot of who I am today. Not the simple act of being an RA in itself, but the staffs I encountered and the RDs who still mentor me. The Residents who showed me pieces of themselves and their hurt. The ways that God inevitably shows up at your weakest. It is a glorious, wonderful, sometimes heavy load to carry.

Please, don't let this be just another leadership position you add to your resume...please let this year shape you, shift you, wreck you. You said yes last semester to a hall, or a mod, or a court. You said yes to loving people and learning how to love them even more. You said yes, to setting an example and not just setting it but being it. You said yes, to hopefully one of the best years of your life.

You are all in my prayers throughout this next year. I pray that you would let go of expectations and the need to control and let him move so tremendously in your lives. That you would just say, "Here I am Lord, use me" and mean it. Because when He does? Oh man. You're just not even ready.

From my heart to yours dear ones,

Arie.