Saturday, September 15, 2012

Senior College Student

I started college twenty years ago this month, and I love that God timed it so I would start again now. When I applied to college the first time I was looking for an education, but what I wanted in the short term was Christian community. I chose a small, Presbyterian school that I had visited during some missions conferences, and was thrilled to be accepted. I had always wanted Christian friends and craved those kinds of relationships. I was sure this was finally going to be where I found a circle of friends that I could pray with, be real with and grow with in our faith.
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.


William Smith said...

Praise God! I have a feeling you will love that prof

Jeff and Meg said...

God working again! :)

Julie said...

That is just incredible Shay!

KateO said...

How awesome! Its going to be good shay!

Trish D said...

That is AWESOME!!! Can't wait to hear the other blessings you receive on this journey.

(And also a reminder that I have much to be thankful for with my wonderful college experience)

Theresa said...

I love new chapters! I am very excited for you. Your story is your story. It's exactly the one God wanted you to have. It's a tough one but the very next post is about how YOU with HIM overcame!

I love you sister. Now look at all the Christian friends you have in the neighborhood...well I don't know the number but I know there are a lot we don't know yet. Keep praying for H-Park.

Also, I didn't know that I was so much older than you. LOL.