As I'm writing this I'm sitting in my apartment bedroom, on my full size bed in my PJ's, all I think is how amazing college has been to me. Let's be honest, high school has nothing on your college experience, especially when you've met amazing friends like mine. Tomorrow, I graduate from a place that has been much more than a College to me.
This is the place where I found myself.
In the middle of stress and tiredness, when I couldn't figure out where my life was going, God showed me just how amazing he is. He allowed me to come to this place. The place surrounded by his people. Those people have taught me, mentored me, inspired me, cheered with me, worshipped with me and cried with me. This college town has become my home. It was not what I expected and it's not anything fancy, but it's everything I needed. Leaving this place is like leaving home all over again. I am very hopeful for this next chapter in my life, but to see the page flip will be gratefully hard. It's a blessing to have even been someone to be a part of the amazing things happening in this town. All I can hope is that this place can be what it was for me. Hope.
This the place where I found my dreams
Before coming into college I really had no idea who I wanted to be, I really didn't know who God wanted me to be. This past semester our women's bible study group has read a book called "In His Image". The author brings up the idea that instead of asking God "what should I do", we should be asking "who should I be". These three years of college, I've got to work out my greatest strengths: planning, organizing, leading, ministry, designing and so much more. My weaknesses have also shown me that I fail sometimes, and I can't be good at everything. Through the trials and victories faced in this season, my dreams have become all the more clear. Dreams of working in ministry, speaking, writing, inspiring women and changing the world. These dreams are directions but I'm just going to let God do his thing and tell me which way to start walking.
This is the place I found the BEST people
You always hear "The friends you find in college will be those that will last a lifetime", and I am here to proclaim the truth in that sentence. In three years, my life has been consistently surrounded by people who love the Lord and have pushed me to grow spiritually. There has been so many break through moments during my Monday Night Bible Study. Many times where God has moved so powerful on a Thursday night during college ministry that I didn't even want to sit down for the sermon. Every amazing memory was shared with my people, my friends who are simply long-lost family. For the person reading this who is in a season where friendship isn't all that fun. Maybe you don't have good friends, maybe you feel left out or limited to trustworthy friends. I know your hurt and craving for amazing friendship, but you must first learn how to be a great friend. After many months at the beginning of college seeking godly friendships, in God's timing he brought me to some of the coolest people on planet Earth. Friend, there is hope in finding people who love you for WHO you are not WHAT you are. Finally, friendship won't be about you putting in all the effort but finally having people who invest in getting to know you. These people don't truly know how much they have changed my life.
This is where my relationship with the Lord grew abundantly
You would normally think that a small college campus doesn't have a lot of college ministries on campus. UAM has about 5 on campus college ministries. Which to me is amazingly WILD because of how small the campus is. However, my freshmen year I plugged in with a college ministry called "MBSF" (Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship). After a whole year serving, volunteering and being a part of the community there I got offered an intern position with the ministry. Little did I know God was drawing me back to the calling he had already placed on my life. This direction, this internship lead me to growing in ways I had never thought were possible. My relationship with the Lord was much more surface level then I even knew. From this ministry there was a College girls bible study started out of it. The sweetest lady, Mrs. Kristi Baugh, felt called to branch out from the local church (Pauline Baptist) that MBSF is supported by to start a bible study for the college girls at UAM. The sisterhood created with in the walls of her home will forever be a part of how God changed my life & deepened my love for him. Friend, my biggest hope is that everyone could have a college experience like this. An experienced not tainted with struggles and uncertainties about their futures, although that happens to the best of us, but being able to know the Lord for who he is. God is eager for you to get to know him. He is prepared for you to ask the big, scary questions. Don't let what is or isn't your college experience change your perspective of what God has prepared for you. Or honestly be so worried about why he has you where he has you. There is purpose through every hard step you take, you just have to keep on stepping.
Post grad life feels pretty weird, yet it also welcomes you with the newness of discovering what's next in your life. I'm not sure where God is taking me, all I know is I'm ready to go.
College has it's ups and downs. If you will just seek God out during one of the hardest seasons of your life, I promise you he will do something amazing.