Emily Kauffman is a first year student at Hesston College majoring in Communications and Bible. She is the oldest of three sisters and lives in Pettisville, Ohio. Emily has been to six Mennonite conventions with the first being in Orlando. She enjoys combining beautiful handwriting, colors, and words.
As I reflect on the times in my life when I have met Jesus on the road, I think of certain individuals who have served as mentors and advocates to me.
One night, my mentor Holly and I decided to take a walk together. It had been awhile since we had connected and were in need of a good sharing session. We began our walk in the early evening, making our way from my house to the high school track. The sky was clear as we lapped the track, sharing our reflections of the past weeks with each other. The more laps around the track we made, the closer the sun got to the horizon. As it got darker, the storm clouds rolled in and we tried to decide whether it was worth waiting out the storm or if it was safer to head home. While we walked and talked, the thunder rolled and the dark clouds brewed in the sky above. I remember feeling so in touch with nature and so close with my mentor Holly. When we finally decided to take a seat on the track, I began to share the struggles that had been weighing me down. And just as the storm cleared, so did the burdens.
It amazes me sometimes how much the simple act of voicing our hurts and failures to another individual can help bring clarity and peace to storms brewing in our hearts. When we take the time to open our eyes to the joy that Jesus has for us, I have found that we become more open and willing to be vulnerable and honest with each other.
I have also experienced this same joy while being a student at Hesston College this year. One of the values Hesston treasures is the connection formed between faculty and students.
Coming to Hesston I had a bit of an idea of what I wanted to study, but that idea has reshaped itself, particularly as I have experienced opportunities greater than I ever expected. I’ll be honest; I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I applied for an on-campus job working in the Marketing and Communications department. But as I sit across from Marathana Prothro, director of Marketing and Communications, and share my love for writing and fonts and design, I recognize what has made me come alive. I have experienced much joy from working alongside those on the third floor of the Alliman Administration Center. It is here, I have felt affirmed in my abilities and challenged to grow.
Jesus is walking along side each one of us, whether we are aware of it or not. I did not come to Hesston knowing I would get the opportunity to work alongside those professionals on the third floor.
But as I reflect, I am reminded of the desire Jesus has for each one of us – to find joy in recognizing him in each person with whom we come in contact. As we go looking for Jesus in others, may we all remember that Jesus can also be seen in us. Finding Jesus in those that we least expect can be greater than where we expect to find Him.