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  • Writer's pictureLexie Segalla

When life shifted unexpectedly, Emma found herself right where she truly needed to be

A Junior in college pursuing her heart’s many passions, one of Emma’s biggest love’s belongs to the art of dancing. These past few semesters she had had the joy of being involved with West Chester University’s Dance Company until she unexpectedly didn't make the cut for their upcoming show. As Emma was pulled away from one of the most joyous parts of her life, many emotions surfaced and she struggled to move forward. This was just the beginning of a challenging season ahead.

“This past December I didn’t feel peace and I was really insecure about myself. I struggled with mental health, was really negative, and made some pretty disappointing decisions.”

After an unanticipated visit to a church that December, Emma became eager in an entirely new way.

Spring semester rolled around and Emma was searching for ways to fill her newfound time when she came across an intriguing invitation to a West Chester Cru weekly meeting. Without skipping a beat, Emma was quickly drawn into a warm and welcoming environment, becoming progressively eager to see all that Cru had to offer.

Emma’s eager heart grew and in just a few short weeks she found herself on a Cru mission trip in Panama City, Florida.

“I signed up on a whim. I heard about the trip and thought it would be an interesting way to spend my spring break; just learning more about God."

Little did Emma know all that would unfold.

That week was flooded with many blessings for Emma, shattering any expectation that she may have had. She gained an incredible community of friends, encountered hundreds of students singing praises to God, and learned what it meant to truly know God personally.

“It was the first time I was really a part of something like this.”

But most of all, in the face of a massive turn of events, Emma found God in a very personal and powerful way. Upon finding out that Covid-19 had caused West Chester University’s campus to completely shut down, Emma knew that this trip was exactly where she needed to be.

“God definitely brought me on this trip because he knew all this was going to happen. He brought me to all these people to help me cope through it.”

In the midst of the chaos, Emma encountered the immense peace and love of Jesus, leading her to personally accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

“That was the main reason I was on that trip; To accept Him as my savior. That week, I witnessed first-hand how He [God] was there with us and how He guided us. The whole trip awakened me. I know that there is a God out there, or else I wouldn’t be here right now.”

Even in the middle of a rising pandemic, Emma walked away from that trip a completely changed person. She now has the friendships that she’s always longed for, a newfound reason to live, and the peace and hope from a Savior that she knows will never fail her, even when the world does.

Emma is a Junior Psychology major with a minor in dance at West Chester University. She is involved with many things on campus including, but not limited to, the Irish Dance Team, University Dance Company, University Theatre, Autism Acceptance Committee, Bowling Club, and Greek Life. In her free time, she loves to read and do zumba! Earlier this semester, Emma had the privilege of being awarded First Runner Up in the Miss WCU pageant!

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