For Shelby Creemers, a junior pre-veterinary major, Homecoming week is a time for preparation as she manages her responsibilities as a member of Dance Marathon and Campus Crusade for Christ.
“There are so many things going on right now,” said Creemers. “Dance Marathon has its promotions week all of next week, and we have a lot of advertisement and special events going on that I’m helping with. Homecoming is this weekend too, so there is so much work to be done.”
Although Creemers is flooded with tasks, she finds strength in the Lord and continues to grow in her faith through Campus Crusade for Christ.
“Cru has definitely helped me feel more secure in my faith,” said Creemers. “With all of the crazy things going on in the world… , I know that I can always count on God. I know I can count on family and friends too, but they may not always be able to be there. God always will be.”
In July 2011, the ministry announced that their name would change from Campus Crusade for Christ to Cru beginning in 2012. The change was controversial because “Christ” was removed from the name of the organization.
“When the whole name change happened with them, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that,” said Creemers. “I almost didn’t do Cru this year. A couple of my friends were heading up a community group though, so checked it out and loved it. I finally felt like I was really connected. The people who I was just acquaintances with before, I actually consider true friends now.”
Balancing Cru and Dance Marathon keeps Creemers on her toes, but she is not a stranger to a busy schedule paired with a passion for God. Creemers also has a history with dance which began when she was 5 years old, and she started competing when she was 8.
“I went to a small, private Christian school my whole life and my family is Christian, so I’ve always been in that kind of environment and didn’t know anything different from it,” said Creemers. “I was saved when I was around 6 or 7. My faith flourished through my dancing and continued to grow throughout high school.”
Julia Kefauver, who has known Creemers since middle school, points out how faith and dance have shaped the way Creemers impacts those around her.
“I have known Shelby for a long time,” said Kefauver. “She has always been a [role] model for me in her faith. I look up to her and I know she is a strong Christian girl. I am not surprised she’s so overwhelmed with Dance Marathon and Homecoming Week. She’s been involved with dance since she could walk and she always says God has been her biggest cheerleader.”
Creemers’ devotion to her talents and her faith has presented her with challenges along the way.
“It is hard sometimes because not everyone shares my beliefs,” said Creemers. “That can lead to confrontations. I try to use that as a challenge for myself though. When it gets like that I try to approach the different situations by using my faith and witness to others. I don’t try and act all high and mighty or anything, but I guess I try to think about how I would handle the situation in a way God can be proud of.”
Mitchell Carr, a friend of Creemers’, believes that she will always remain steadfast in her Christianity and be successful in dancing.
“Shelby is part of the dance department at USF and she goes to Bible study,” said Carr. “Those are two things she loves. I know for a fact that nothing can test your faith like a college campus, [but] she will be fine because she knows who she is and what she stands for.”
Creemers strives to maintain a grasp on reality and understand that her faith can help her to grow in all aspects of her life.
“Being a Christian has actually made me realized how messed up the world is and it’s made me realize how much I can trust God,” said Creemers. “Having that assurance makes me feel so good. But when I feel like I have so much going on and can’t handle it, then I turn to God. I feel at peace. Yes, my life is hectic and crazy but when I turn to Him, the things that felt impossible at first don’t seem like that anymore. He makes me feel complete, so even in my darkest of times I know I won’t be there for long.”