College Discernment Retreats

“We have to learn who we are, and who we aren’t. We have to stand inside our stories, including the parts of our stories that we didn’t choose or like very much, and let things go. We have to relearn who we were. In order to endure the difficult paths of our callings, we have to know who we are and who we are called be.”

– Lauren Brewer Bass, Five Hundred Miles: Reflections on Calling and Pilgrimage

College Women, Sleep Deprivation, and Hearing God’s Call

by Pam Durso

I recently spent two days in Kentucky with women students from Campbellsville University, sharing life stories, talking about call discernment, and remembering what it was like to be in college. I learned so much! I learned that college women don’t require as much sleep as I do! (Okay, I already knew that college students don’t sleep, but I experienced it first hand during our overnight retreat).

I also learned that these Campbellsville women are fearless in their love of Jesus, compassionate in their care of their sisters, and adventurous in their living and sharing of the faith. They played together, laughed a lot, enjoyed spending time with friends and making new friendships, hearing stories and receiving advice from their professors, and eating s’mores around a fire.

Together we spent twenty-four hours exploring what it means to be called by God–to a life of purpose and perhaps even to vocational ministry. I shared copies of Five Hundred Miles: Reflections on Pilgrimage and Calling by Lauren Brewer Bass. I also shared with them some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Our callings last our whole lives. Our callings are bigger than our jobs. Our callings are bigger than our unemployment, and they are bigger than our underemployment. Our callings seep like tea into the water of our whole lives. They flavor everything.”

“We have to learn who we are, and who we aren’t. We have to stand inside our stories, including the parts of our stories that we didn’t choose or like very much, and let things go. We have to relearn who we were. In order to endure the difficult paths of our callings, we have to know who we are and who we are called be.”

“We can’t walk this journey of calling alone. We need people to carry extra snacks. We need people to start parts of our stories that we didn’t choose or like very much, and let things go. We have to relearn who we were. In order to endure the difficult paths of our callings, we have to know who we are and who we are called be.”

I drove away from Camp Jabezin Nancy, Kentucky on Saturday afternoon with great hope in my heart, knowing that the future of the church rests in the hands of strong, sincere, committed, and compassionate women such as these.

Thanks, Twyla Hernadez and Campbellsville University, for making this discernment retreat possible!