By Lenae Simpson
CIU Student Writer
I was not in the mood to celebrate my femininity on a recent Tuesday night, but I had already agreed to go to "Pieces," Student Union's night of encouragement for on-campus women. Begrudgingly I resigned myself to dressing up and applying make-up -- there was no time for hair or nails. Clicking down the hall, I made my way to the lobby of the Fitness Center.
It was beautiful. Three tables were covered in cheesecake bites and brownies, cookies and sparkling grape juice. Icicle Christmas lights hung like a canopy, leaving just enough room for eight tables decorated with broken pieces of colored glass.
As young women trickled in, I couldn't help but notice their smiles and excited chatter. Though I did not know everyone, the atmosphere was inviting and relaxed. Before long, over 50 young women from campus were mingling and munching.
Student Union asked four well-respected, godly women from campus to address us young ladies. Each speaker had five (which really means around 10) minutes to share a Bible verse that was significant in her life. Debby Jones, the wife of CIU's president Dr. Bill Jones, shared Psalm 16:11.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
This verse taught her to value her relationship with God as her first priority. Though it was easy to be distracted by young men while single, Mrs. Jones had learned to "date" God and find her "path of life ... fullness of joy ... [and] pleasures forever" in Him.
Anne Buck, administrative assistant to CIU Vice President Mickey Bowdon, began by boasting. I did not know who Mrs. Buck was, and I was surprised at her boldness. She likes herself, is loved by her children, and has been married for 27 years. She is healthy and loves people and grocery shopping. She even started a Christian magazine. I had no idea why she shared all this until she also shared her past: abandoned by three mothers, suffered severe trauma, attempted suicide. Her life had seemed hopeless, "but the Lord came and rescued me ... Everything I thought would never happen -- did -- all the blessings ... all God's promises have come true in my life." Her verse was Romans 8:18.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Dr. Anita Cooper, a CIU professor for 26 years, spoke next on John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Dr. Cooper believes this verse teaches the "single most important doctrine in Scripture." That is, God will not leave His people as orphans. He is our "Father," as Jesus called Him. In fact, the only time Jesus did not call Him "Father" was one time on the cross. Look it up. It is true. Because of what Christ did for us we can have an intimate relationship with God. We are his adopted children.
The last woman to speak was Donna Thompson -- the women's chaplain at CIU. She asked us to repeat, "You are a diamond. Glisten in the glory of God." Her verse was Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Ms. Thompson spoke on God's care for us. Even when we go through difficult times, "the Creator God is the same personal, covenant-keeping God who will walk with you through whatever you go through."
The young women from Student Union prayed, thanked the speakers, and introduced the art project of the night. Every young woman was to take a piece of glass from their table and write an attribute of God which was precious to them on the glass (with a sharpie). Alex Dugas, a sophomore on Student Union, explained, "Alone, we are just one broken piece, but together we can make a beautiful mosaic." The mosaic will be put together and hung in a public place in the near future.
I left the event very glad that I had attended. I was indeed encouraged.