It didn't take long to realize that I had made mistake, and there was really no Christian community to be found there. My roommate was a believer, but she turned out to be a complete psycho who wanted me out of the room. (She eventually moved out.) There was one tiny club for Christians but it just seemed nerdy and there wasn't anyone there I thought I could connect with. I gave up on Christian friends and just tried to make any friends I could. This was the beginning of my problem drinking, downward spiral, etc. In hindsight it's easy to see that I should have left and gone home, or applied elsewhere and tried to transfer. But at 18 I didn't think I had a choice, and assumed I was stuck there. I did what I could to fit in, somehow still always being alone and isolated, my faith fading.
So twenty years later, I am starting over and I get my first message from one of my new professors. She went over some basic information for the course, and then closed with this:
"I can't wait to see what God has for us together this term. I am looking forward to meeting each of you and getting to know you. I am already praying for you, but if you have specific prayer requests that you would like to share with me, I would welcome your emails. I like to be able to pray for you with specificity. I pray that God will bless each of us as we work together, learning and strengthening our daily walk. I look forward to hearing from you. I urge you to commit yourself to live out this verse: The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Proverbs 21:5"
I cried when I read that. I never thought that I would be able to go back to finish my degree, and I certainly never even sought to find that Christian college community again. To get my first message from a professor and read about prayer and scripture was just overwhelming. I love that God gives us gifts like this. I'm excited for this new chapter, and feel so blessed that I can do it the way I wanted to twenty years ago.