Louisville Fellows Monthly Blog PostsRead what the Fellows are learning during their time in our program - the good, the hard, the unexpected. God often works in ways we would not expect, and he delights in our joy. Read on to hear from the Fellows themselves!
by Clay Stewart
When I left Louisville four years ago for college in Wilmington, NC, I wasn’t certain of when or if I would be back home here in Kentucky. However, God works in mysterious ways. A few months before graduation, after deciding I would be taking a gap year while applying to PA school, I was somewhat panicking about how I was going to productively spend this time in between. That is when I was reminded of the brief conversation I had previously had with this enthusiastic, kind-hearted Director of something called the Louisville Fellows Program, and thought, “Hey, it can’t hurt to apply.”
Well, here we are, three months into the Fellows Program, and I can confidently say that, despite my initial concerns and hesitations, this is one of the best decisions I have made to this day. As I prepared for the start of the program, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have some worries. I’m a 22-year-old college graduate–am I really about to move back in with my parents? What if the church that I grew up in, our “host church,” has changed? What if they set me up with a job that I don’t like? What if I don’t get along with the other Fellows?
Boy, was I being dramatic. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Although slightly different than the conventional Fellows’ programming, being “hosted” by my own family and the church I grew up in has been such an incredible blessing. Having the opportunity to grow closer to my family while navigating the complexities that accompany this chapter of my life alongside them has truly been a gift. It turns out that my childhood church has changed, but in beautiful ways that can only be credited to God’s loving and faithful works. Additionally, by working alongside my old youth minister in leading the youth group, I have been blessed with the chance to pour into these youth and give back to something that had such a profound impact on my own faith journey. As for my job, it has been everything I hoped it would be and more, providing me with the perfect opportunity to acquire the experience I need while concurrently enabling me to learn from a mentor who demonstrates what it looks like for faith and vocation to coexist. And finally, the Fellows have provided me with a sense of Christian community I never knew I was without and friendships I hope to never lose. Looking back on the past three months and forward to the remaining six, I am thankful for what God has been doing and excited for what is yet to come.
By Gracie Puckett
My time since saying yes to being part of the Fellows Initiative at-large has not been what I expected. From saying yes and gearing up to go to Memphis to getting the sad news of the program shutting down for the year, I questioned God’s ability to lead and provide for me. Little did I know God had this beautiful option around the corner that fit exactly what I was looking for in this “gap” year program I had said yes to in March. Even in my questioning of Him, God provided!
Before arriving in Louisville, I was elated to be moving to a new city but also quite nervous at what was ahead. I was nervous about St. Francis, connecting with the other Fellows, relationships with the staff at the church, what my host family would be like, and what work would look like. From growing up as a pastor’s kid in the PCA, St. Francis was quite the one eighty that I was not expecting. The first Sunday I was just amazed at the beauty of the church service, specifically the liturgy, community, choir, and communion. This amazement has only grown as the months have gone by. God has provided a beautiful church where I get to recognize His holiness in all aspects of the church service which I haven’t done on this scale ever before. The other Fellows have been such a blessing more than words can describe; they have truly made Louisville home. God has continued providing. The church staff welcomed us with open arms as we entered the unknown and have truly shown me love in every interaction. He is my provider. My host family has been beyond amazing and has been truly like a family to me; I am immensely blessed. I keep thanking God for providing me a beautiful home. Not finding work right away was unexpected and nerve-wracking, yet God met me in my space and provided me a job at Home of the Innocents. Daily I get to just be in awe of the way God continues to provide for me and come to Him with trust and excitement for the year ahead.
by David Holmes
Getting to Louisville, I was nervous about many aspects of the Fellows Program. Would I enjoy Louisville? Will I get along with the other Fellows? Did I make the right decision in choosing the Fellows? Most of all, I was nervous about what job I was going to have. Even after starting the program, the lack of a job was at the forefront of my mind. Will I get a job that works for what I want? What if the people at my work do not like me? Can I even do the job I will be hired to do?
However, God used this time of stress and turmoil for good. While my thoughts were quickly evolving into uncertainty about all aspects of my life, God had a different plan. God forced me out of my own mind to look at all the good that the program has done for me. For instance, how my first 24 hours in Louisville were filled with nothing but dozens of people from St. Francis telling me how excited they were to have me and the other fellows here, or how Louisville was filled with all of what I wanted in a city where I live. God taught me a lesson that could be seen in a 1986 classic: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Perhaps my first couple weeks are not exactly how I expected them to be, yet God has shown me all the good here in Louisville and St. Francis in the Fields. Now that I have stopped and looked around at what God has provided me, I am excited for what this year in the Louisville Bridge Fellows will provide.