Many people who know the members of LTF know that last year was full of changes: most of us were graduating, some were getting married, one member (Meixuan) even moved to another city in addition to getting married. I was also graduating high school and packing for college in North Carolina. To say the least, we all parted separate ways to places all over the country. All we knew was that God would be with us wherever we are, and we'd always have something to share with the Spirit leading us and guiding us.

For me, freshman year at Duke University was a blessing beyond what I expected. Even though I struggled with academics (especially first semester with Multivariable Calculus...), I found SO MUCH to be thankful for, SO MUCH that I learned about myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Even before I started school,  I knew I wanted to check out the Christian Fellowships on campus. Anyone considering to do that in college--go for it, even if you're not Christian. :) I decided to join InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and soon began to meet the coolest people I've ever met. I met a lot of classmates who are really on fire for God, and they challenged me in my own spiritual walk as I realized that God is presently working and wants to make a difference on our campus through us--through me personally.

One of the most important things I learned this year is that God wants my identity to be completely in Him as a Child of God. My identity sometimes changes from the approval of others, to my body image, to success in school, to how good of a person I am.  These identities leave me feeling like a failure and the only identity that I can confidently take up knowing that it'll never put me to shame--is my identity as God's daughter. Being a child of God gives me freedom to make choices in my daily life, confidence that God loves me the way that I am, and motivation to pursue community and real love that only comes from God. I need to remind myself: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I've also joined a church in Durham called Journey Community Church where I've also grown and been encouraged. This church is just starting its second official year, and seeing God's work there will be exciting and something to pray for. To sum up, coming back home for three short weeks in Tucson and reuniting with LTF to share some of our new songs has been a fun way for me to see how we've changed and matured separately. I know that God will always use LTF when we're together, but He intends even more for us to be available for His use on the fly, perhaps when we are literally flying across the country to wherever we end up!

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" (Matthew 28:18-20)