So reality finally hit me tonight that I am no longer the director at UT. God has been leading me elsewhere for awhile now and it is time to pass the baton to the new director. Someone I know and trust…someone who loves and will love UT as much as I do. Tonight I wanted to reflect on my 8 years here since I’m feeling quite pensive and reflective.

Year 1 – 2002/2003
Started the year with Hank, Eric, and Darren. Matt and Jill came a little later. We were a new team and bonded instantly. I loved being under Hank’s leadership and then leading with him. The students didn’t quite know what to think of us, but they were hilarious and the “hippest” I had been around. My first bible study had 15 women and they were quite a mixed bunch that didn’t quite know what to do with me….especially when I made them play an embarrassing game for our first bible study time. That year I bonded with Heather Depriest, Becca Umstot, Erica Butler, Sarah West, Sara Scribner, Lane Faulkner, Katie Harvey (remember Kenny Chesney?), Laura Winn, Bekah Emerling, Kristina Weber, Nancy Simmons, Crystal Shields, Brad Crawford. I met the fab Tiffany Hughes and Valerie Wilkins this year as well. This was also the year Lacy came to Christ at campus time of Winter Conference.

Year 2 2003/2004
This was my toughest year on staff. We had a challenging year with students really challenging decisions and the character of our team. I loved leading with Hank. I wanted to peace out, but I didn’t. I grew closer to Scribby, Becca, and Sarah and started a freshmen group with Holly Dagnan, Kristen and Stephanie Arms, Leah Jones, Brittney Kidd, Amanda Sharpe, and Brad Crawford. A girl named Sarah came to Christ after bringing her family to an outreach where they received Christ.

Haley joined our team and added another girl. This is when the alliance started of Eric, Darren, Haley, and myself. We started watching Survivor after every CRU – a tradition that continued until the mass Exodus in 2007/2008. This is also the year that Eric dressed up like Chad McGhee and Darren like Kenny Chesney for my birthday. That medium gray tshirt Eric wore will never be the same.

Year 3 2004/2005
This was a fun year….still leading with Hank. Lauren Bradshaw, Reece, Meg, Julie, Shelley Long , Erin, Alisha, joined the mix. This is when th e girls would go to my house while I was out-of-town (every girl had a key to my house) and take pictures of themselves in that old nasty wedding dress I had from my broken engagement. They were hilarious. Also had to have numerous talks with Bradshaw over her wanting to drop hints to Jared to propose. Love you friend!! Hung out some with Anna Dukes and Jenny Wallace. Dara Lynn joined the team at the end of this year and was so much fun. It’s late and I’m writing for memory, so forgive me if I leave your name out. This might’ve been when Brad and I fished out a toilet seat wheelchair from the Kroger dumpster (on Broadway) and put it on Darren’s car. OH, Brad Crawford.

Year 4 2005/2006
I got mono. Fell in love with NYC. Still leading with Hank. Added a few fun ones to the mix. Leellen, Laura, Mariruth, Meghan. Tiffany interned!! Brad Crawford.

Year 5 2006/2007
Haley’s family passed away and I inherited her women for a season…..25 girls in bible study. Tough, tough year. Lots of traveling with Haley as she dealt with grief, estate stuff, and family visits. Crawled through this year. Sweet Reece interned and was a trooper. I was leading with Hank and he carried the weight of the ministry pretty much by himself as I was walking with Haley through this season.

Year 6 2007/2008
I’ve loved all my bible studies, but this group was unique from the start for me. I’ve never had a bible study that BECAME as transparent and honest as this one. Rachel, Laura, Lauren, Rachel, Sara, Caroline, JEssica, Frankie, Kayla, Becca, Amy, Michelle, Carrie, Ashley, Leigh.
I prayed from day one that I set foot on campus that UT would become a sending campus for women. In my 8 years I have seen that happen. 5 of these women are with CCC now, but almost all of the women I’ve had the blessed opportunity to know are walking with Jesus and impacting their families, coworkers, children, etc.

Year 7 2008/2009
Alot like year 6 except I began leading with Britton. Britton brough so much organization and took the weight of administration off my shoulders and brought creativity to CRU. He challenged me to walk by faith. This was also the year of saying “bye” to these dear women and to Eden. Lindsey joined our team this year and brought so much life to our team and became such a friend to me.

Year 8 2009/2010
Still writing this story, but transitioning out of my role and full-time assignment here. Have been so weepy tonight as I think about God’s faithfulness and my love for UT. This blog is for me….a chance to reflect and think about how many people have come and gone and are walking with Him. Thank you for trusting me, sharing your life, and for making me love Jesus more. My time at UT wouldn’t be complete without each one of you.

Rocky Top, you’ll always be home sweet home to me.

5 thoughts on “A New Day….(thank you, Celine)”

  1. Every season of our life brings about change; some good, some hard to leave behind. As you are penning your memorie of UT, know that God is writing a new page of your future. It's in brighter colors, though that "gaudy orange" is hard to beat. The next season of your life involves new friends, victory over your health, and a family..yours!

  2. the life of a staff member…every year is different! glad to hear of the wonderful journey you've had. you'll be in my prayers as you make this transition!

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