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12/13/21

Pack the Bag - Jordan Archer

Hear me out, I always thought people who worked at camp were the coolest. They had the awesome backpacks with a radio, and keys, and who knows what else was in there. Adventure was out there, and they seemed prepared and excited for whatever was to come. It looked to be as a superpower they all had. As that grown-up kid who now carries all of the above, I think my mind has slightly changed… just kidding, it’s still the coolest!

I actually do carry the heavy backpack with at least a million things I might need for any situation. I’m known to have a variety of protein bars, and most importantly a hefty selection of squeezable applesauce ready to go at all times! Anything you can think of is in the bag, and sometimes I get frustrated with the burden of taking it everywhere. I begin to complain and think about taking it all out. Each time I go to take it all out, I realize the blessing of having such things available at my fingertips. It has things that not only that benefit me, but also can help love on those around me. I reorganize and prioritize, and each time things fit and make sense a little more. The Legacy Fellowship has turned out to be a lot like that cool backpack, I entered this program with much prayer and direction from the Lord. I look back, and I’m still not entirely sure how I’m here, but my goodness I’m thankful I am.

The Fellowship allows you great time to process and navigate the things that have not only happened in your life up to this point, but also challenges you to be more. More of Christ and less of you. The things that have happened in my life have all been collected, like things in the bag. There have been times and seasons in which I have been confused as to why certain things are part of my story. How I could ever move forward with such heavy things. There have also been so many blessings, opportunities, and growth that I have lived through. All things that went into the “bag” that I carry. Entering into the Fellowship, I quickly realized that to balance my life I was going to need to live in a healthy way, with Christ as my center in everything. I was unable to use my past baggage as an excuse for anything. Rather I had the option to go through my life and begin to reorganize and prioritize, just as I had done in my bag.

In this process I have been so beautifully in awe of my Savior. I’ve seen parts of my story used for his glory that I couldn’t ever imagine. I’ve walked in faith for things that seem way out of my reach, and then realized… they are. All of the things I banked on knowing and having when I “grew up” have been thrown out the window. None of my life’s struggles, accomplishments, or plans are mine. The Lord has so perfectly knit together a story filled with beauty, pain, joy, and such laughter in ways that I could have never imagined. I have come to realize that all those things I carry in the “bag” aka my life are blessings. They are part of my story. They not only show how Christ has moved in my life and allowed for beautiful vulnerability, but I also get to use the things I have gone through to show love and share in times of struggle. I have a greater desire to learn about others and have genuine conversations. It allows for me to strive for a greater heart posture of authentic humility. It spurs me to desire to look more like Jesus and less like Jo.

My final thoughts would be to proudly carry your bag, your life story. Walk with confidence knowing that not every day is going to be easy or make sense. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. His plan is mighty, and it is for you. Allow Christ to navigate the things in which you are wrestling with, even the smallest decisions. Take on life each day with an adventurous spirit. I look back at those people I thought were so cool and realize it wasn’t them that I admired. It was the gifts that the Lord had given them, the light that they were carrying. They were simply living out the Lord’s will for them in that season. Keep walking in truth and light with the hope of Christ surrounding you. It has led me here, and my goodness what an adventure it has been. Here’s to whatever the Lord has next!

-Jordan Alexa