Saturday, July 28, 2012

You’re Gonna Make It After All

It was this time a year ago that the reality of my moving away to college started to become a reality. I started to get emails from my school about confirming enrollment and housing assignments. I spent way too much money at Target and Walmart. I was slowly starting to pack up my room. My emotions were similar to many other college freshmen…a mixture of anxiousness and excitement. However, I wasn't staying in the comfort of my hometown, but moving to a small town in Tennessee where I didn't know a soul. I was going to Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Most people had never heard of this place where I would spend the next four years. But, I knew that God had called me to Lee and I was secure in that.

As summer began to wind down, my excitement nearly doubled, but so did my nervousness. I didn't know what to expect as I transitioned from the familiarity of Tallahassee to the unknown of Cleveland. The morning came when it was time to leave. My bedroom was stripped and every square inch of my car was packed. My mom was a teacher and couldn’t come because move-in weekend coincided with orientation and the first day of school in our county (she couldn’t miss those). It nearly ripped my heart to leave without her. I was thankful my dad and I were in separate cars on the way up because I cried for the first 15 miles. Slowly, the tears were replaced by a smile. I was overwhelmed with joy for my journey...God was with me.

We arrived at school and parked our cars in order to get in the line to check in at my residence hall. There were dozens of girls in line with their parents and we all empathized with each other. It was in that moment, that I felt a part of a community. Time passed so quickly that day and surely enough I had to say another “goodbye.” This time I kissed my dad on the cheek as tears welled in his eyes and told him I’d call him the next day. I felt my heart beat faster as I watched his car pull out of the parking lot…I was officially on my own.

The few days before classes started were filled with adjusting to campus life and getting to know the girls on my hall. Although, those days were overflowing with life, I wasn’t quite at home in my new place. Here’s an excerpt from my journal…

{August 23, 2011}

“Homesickness is hitting me hard tonight. I miss being in a place that is familiar and where I’m known in a sense. I just feel out of place right now. When I called mom tonight I just broke down…the tears started to pour out. Oh Lord, You brought me to Lee and You will be faithful to provide a “place” for me. But, it’s hard not knowing while I wait…”So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. {Hebrews 10:35}”

I can't help but smile when I think about how faithful the Lord has been over the past year. Many of the expectations I had were surpassed, some unfulfilled, and others transpired differently. I can truthfully say that I've grown to love this school and I can see His hand on every part.  Here's one of my journal excerpts from the end of the year...

{April 14, 2012}

“I have so many words I want to fill this page with. I’m sitting in Alumni Park on this gorgeous afternoon. It’s Lee Day weekend and prospective students and parents have taken the campus over. You have been so faithful over this past year. I remember crying the first week here because I felt so out of place. You have provided and far exceeded my expectations. The people You have placed in my life and the passions You have stirred in my heart are astounding…Your love for me is beyond my comprehension.”

Once again I'm filled with emotions as I get ready to go back in a few weeks. But, my feelings are different this year. There isn't an ounce of nervousness in me. I'm just eager and excited for this second year. I know that I'm going to make it after all.

Side note: I listened to this song and this song on repeat while I wrote this post. They both make me get up and dance before the Lord with so much joy in my soul. {2 Samuel 6:14} Just wanted to share so you could dance too! 


Melanie said...

okay so this post made me cry! i'm getting ready to go back for my sophomore year of college too, but i think i'm a lot more upset about it than you are... the fear of living in my sorority house is killing me. but this post was so encouraging and uplifting, it made me feel just a little bit better :) so thank you for that.

ps currently listening to god be praised. so great!

Sarah Rogers said...

I remember this time last year I had the same feelings...sometimes I think we are just so similar!! I cannot believe I've actually survived a year on my own!!! We are so old :p But this year, my attitude is definitely more excited. I cannot wait to go back and make new friends, although I am apprehensive because I living with people I don't know well. But I'm excited to see how God will be using me...and you!! :)


Tiffany said...'re brave. I'm not sure that I would ever be able to share excerpts from my journal :) Thanks for posting!

hannah love said...

I love this!
thank you for sharing

I'm going back to school but this is my first time going so far away from my family and I'm hecka nervous! But this was really encouraging to read!

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