July, 2011 – “As soon as I arrived on campus [for my freshman year] my label was already given to me: I was a Northwestern Cheerleader. My world revolved around this world of Big 10 sports and school spirit. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. We traveled aroundthe country, got free stuff, were on ESPN, and performed in front of hundreds of people every week
But coming from an international school in Korea, I needed my culture. And being raised in a Christian family, AAIV just seemed right. AAIV was my haven, it gave me theability to totally be myself without having to plaster a smile on my face and could talk about real things. But I had no idea that AAIV was also going to help me through my hardest times and break me down and realize what I really needed: God.
Halfway through the basketball season, my grandpa passed away. Cheerleading is all about smiling and holding people up in stunts, so I had to quit the team three weeks before season ended because of my mental instability. In one day, the definition I had of myself was gone. I felt so empty without the title.
My small group 100% helped me through it. My family wasn’t there to get me through this hard process of losing my grandpa and my labels, but my small group family was. I learned to redefine myself in Christ. I had brothers and sisters in Christ to lean on, who prayed for me, and gave me advice and turned me to the Word. I experienced thepower the AAIV community has firsthand and I know for sure that without it I’d probably be lost. My love for Christ has nothing but increased through this experience and I continue to search for Him everyday.”
Please pray for many students like Cree who are seeking to find their identity in their college years. Pray that they, like Cree, would fine their identity in Christ, especially during the summer months.