Sunday, October 1, 2023


Have you ever been somewhere in public and noticed someone who radiates pure joy?  And you wonder what the source of that wonderous attitude is?  For the past several Sundays, I began noticing the happy joyful group of college age students in church.  And one young man always stood out to me, and I enjoyed his devout energy that he had during the music portion of the service.  In pondering who to write about for October, I was drawn to this young man, Luke Hoover. And one Sunday before services started, I walked up and asked for the interview and Luke graciously agreed.

Luke began his story saying he had the classic Christian upbringing as his family was active in their church in Alaska.  His mom is a nurse practitioner, and his dad is a pilot.  Luke recalls as a young lad that he accepted Jesus one day while sitting on the sofa with his dad.  And his life has centered around being a child of God ever since.

Luke describes himself as being a people pleaser and says he would often be described as having biggest heart. And as a child, he didn’t understand the phrase of having a big heart, this just came naturally for him as he deeply cared for people.  Ironically, Luke did have a heart condition and had to undergo treatment. Around 7th or 8th grade his parents divorced. And his first thought was, “how can I be of help to my family?”  Luke admits he never thought about himself, his focus was outward working to be a support to his siblings and parents.  And that is where he describes Satan as coming into his life to work against him. Luke found himself trying to being what the other person wanted or needed him to be. He would be one way for one person and another way for someone else.  He was trying to be the person that everyone wanted him to be.  And this began a downward spiral as he couldn’t say no and Satan pounced on that and ran with it.  Luke was in emotional deep pain but couldn’t share it with anyone. He kept it hidden as best he could. Luke relied partially on God and like many of us, we ask for help, however we never fully give those burdens to God. Instead, we step in and try to figure our life on our own.  I’ve done this multiple times and maybe you have too, and Luke fell into that same trap.  And finally, when his heart and soul were depleted and he couldn’t give anymore, he shut down emotionally.  He stopped caring about others as he was trying to deal with his own emotions and problems. However, his outward actions continued on as to appear as the caring kind of person. No one knew his personal struggles. Having an analytical mindset, Luke studied psychology in high school to try to understand emotions and their effect on the human body & soul.

In Luke’s freshman year of college, a female friend made the observation that made him stop and re-examine himself.  The young woman said “Luke, your emotions are too perfect!”  She said “emotions are hard, messy and imperfect. You have to feel your emotions, good or bad!”  This got him to thinking about that and a shift began.  God was there, waiting to help.  And not long after that, when he was reading a scripture, it hit him and realized his friend was right. And Luke didn’t know where to start to begin the healing process for his own heart and soul. And that is when a message from God said, “don’t worry, I’m going to get you where you need to be”.

Shortly after that Luke began attending the Christan group on the University of Idaho’s campus called Chi Alpha. Its name means “Christ Ambassador”.  Luke describes himself as being an all or nothing kind of guy, so he jumped in with both feet.  Besides attending the meetings, he began taking a discipleship class to become a Facilitator after getting a nudge from God.  Gradually he began caring for others and found a true loving community.  In Luke’s own words, “he genuinely loves these people”.  Today he and the other Facilitators hold bible studies as well as mentor others.  While helping others Luke realized he still had a long way to go to begin his healing journey and first, God showed him his gracious and all consuming love, the God’s lesson was developing “Trust”. Trusting himself, trusting others. He began opening up to others about his pain and in his vulnerability true acceptance came from others. And it has helped Luke in his inward journey to get 100% healed emotionally.

The next lesson from God has Luke working on learning about “Hope”. Hope in Luke’s words is a by-product of trust.  Hope is the fruit from trusting in God. Luke discovered true joy during Chi Alpha’s worship nights. And one evening while talking to a friend about denial of feelings, they read a scripture from the book of Luke and it hit home.  Living joyfully, loving, caring and bonding with others is one of God’s blessings for us humans.

Luke went on to describe other activities that Chi Alpha does. A few were the Fall Breakaway Camp, Winter Camp wherein the chapters in the NW come together for worship, studies & game; and the Spring Break Outreach to other campuses without chapters of Chi Alpha.  As a facilitator, Luke meets/mentors others and this has led to a focus on a career pathway.  Luke did an intern as a Christinan Biblical Counselor and experienced ways a trained professional can help guide a Christian through their problems.

When I asked Luke what his future looked like after college, he wants to complete his Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification.  The purpose of the of the (CMA) “medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics.” Luke felt this would benefit him when he takes his MCAT to pursue his dream of becoming a MD with the final goal of becoming a physiatrist.

After listening to Luke’s story, once again I was in wonderous awe of God’s perfect plan for this dynamic young man. And I can envision how Luke’s past experiences with emotional burnout and his recovery following Our Creator’s guidance and lessons would one day help his fellow man kind, medically as well as spiritually.  Hallelujah! I call that silver linings..  

P.S. soooo happy you stopped by to read the blogpost.  And if this inspires you or maybe you know someone who may benefit from reading this.  Wishing you a blessed day.  Gayle


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