In RA training last week, one of the resident coordinators mentioned the term "insta-friends." It's true. As RAs (Resident Assistants) in the dorms, we go through training together. We live in the building together. We have weekly meetings together. We plan programs and events together. We deal with crisis situations together. And because of these shared bonds & common experiences, we instantly have a group of go-to friends that understand an aspect of our life better than most.

Southgate 09-10
Southgate 10-11

Insta-friends are great for helping to paint walls before residents move in:

Or working on door decorations together:

Or cutting out letters for bulletin boards:

But sometimes, if you're lucky, insta-friends transcend the "co-worker/fellow RA" role and become genuine friends. Friends that stay up until 2AM together playing guitars and ukuleles, or until 3AM watching movies, or until 4AM having conversations that can only be had at 4AM. (You know what I'm talking about.) Friends that come over and order take-out together, or friends that come over to simply sit and be together. Friends that make you laugh and make you feel included, and friends that have already made the past week and a half better than the past year and a half.

Because, let's be honest... the past year and half has been rough. And now? Now, just when I needed it most, God provided a group of people that can sit around and talk about faith and Christianity and religious life on campus all afternoon long. Individuals who look into Summit small groups for us to join, or who purchase David Crowder Band tickets for both of us so I "can't back out." People who share a lot of my beliefs, morals, & values, as well as challenge me to be a better person and grow in my relationship with Christ simply by reflecting His love in their day-to-day lives.

"In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...any of these chances might have kept us apart...

But for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another."

The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others." - C.S. Lewis

I'm so blessed to feel like I finally belong to a small Christian community at Duke, and I'm so thankful for my "insta-friends" that have already become so much more (they read my blog -- heyy, guys!). Even more so, I am grateful to a Creator who has heard my prayers and met my needs, surrounding me with such an encouraging, supportive group of people. I'm excited to see how God will continue working in my life and the lives of those I come in contact with during the upcoming year :)