C H O S E N - Esther Nyemba
The Fellowship is described as “a year-long refinement program designed to invest in the lives of recently graduated college students who desire to look more like Christ.”
I’ve been here for almost 4 months and I can confidently say that this program does exactly that and more. Being surrounded by “a cloud of witnesses”, it’s hard to not see your brokenness here. It’s hard to not see your failures. You see the 13 other individuals running alongside you and are falsely convinced that you’re too insufficient to even be in the race. But as the Fellowship promises and Hebrew 12:1 encourages, to “lay aside our sin” and see Jesus is a proactive process. It is a process to tangibly see His grace. I am forced to encounter how undeserving I am of the Cross and just how much sweeter being chosen by the Creator truly is.
I’d like to believe that I’ve always understood what my salvation entailed. I understood the Gospel and what it meant about my relationship with the Lord, but I think I’ve always missed the necessary “what now” aspect. This season has allowed me to experience what acceptance of the Good News is meant to compel. It’s more than just my sins being forgiven. It’s the Perfect One looking at my imperfect being and still loving me enough to deem me worthy of salvation. He sent His Son to die on the cross and as a result I am not just set free, but made a completely new creation for His good works. I’m now set to be a part of God’s redemptive work for His people, what a privilege!
I wholeheartedly believe that I didn’t choose the Fellowship. Heck, I fought tooth and nail to not be here but God saw this to be exactly where I needed to be. I didn’t choose the 13 other humans who’d be here with me but I couldn’t imagine this experience without every single one of those humans. They have been the sweetest earthly expression of the gospel. Everyday we’re forced to choose each other. Honestly, we have no choice but to experience the ugliness of each person and yet see the radiant beauty that is Christ in us. We get first hand experience at each other’s sinful nature and yet we get the privilege to choose to see what God sees. As Paul so well put in Ephesians 3: 5-6, God sees sons who have been adopted through Jesus Christ, and as a result of our adoption, He sees sons and daughters whom He is well pleased with.
I can lay aside my sin and walk in the freedom of being a daughter of the most high king. I’m set free from the shackles of this life. I’m no longer paralyzed by shame and insecurities. I don’t have to fear intimacy, vulnerability, and the unknown because I’m chosen by the Creator. I have the freedom to love well and allow others to love me well. I get to rejoice in the unknown and have full confidence that the One who walks before me is guiding my path. I get to joyfully follow in the footsteps of the founder and perfecter of my faith. The gospel has set me free from myself, others, and the world. I’m encouraged to focus on Christ and my aim to look like Him.
So for those considering whether or not to do the fellowship, do it. It’s an unmatched experience to taste and see what it means to walk in the freedom of being chosen. It’s an unmatched experience to have other believers lay aside the weight and sin of this world and love you like Christ did. It’s an unmatched experience to have other believers wake up daily and choose to fight for your righteousness. So do the fellowship and watch it refine your life in every way that it promises.
- Esther Nyemba