Growing up in public school for twelve years, I wasn’t expecting Jesus to come in and change my heart so radically that I’d give up my prior dream of a big Brooklyn writing institute for a tiny college town called Wilmore. Talk about culture shock.
I went from four letter words being a crucial part of every sentence to a town that practically shuts down on Sundays. I went from locker PDA to dorms on gender lockdown. I went from overhearing the latest party foul to walking into theological conversations about the transformative love of the Savior. I would say that my “formative” years were absolutely anything but sheltered; yet here I am, sitting in a Starbucks on a Saturday morning, missing my little Wilmore home and the comforts of that training ground.
You could say that I’ve learned a lot as I go into my third year of classes that integrate faith and fact, but I’ve also unlearned a lot of deceptions that were engrained into me from early on. Here, I find that getting the taste of both has enabled me to reconcile the “in the world, but not of it” concept; while my expectations where high for a community of believers, the reality was both sobering and worth celebrating. Here’s what I’ve learned at my half-way point at a Christian college:
- Just because He put you there, doesn’t mean you’ll do it “right.”
Oh, to my precious freshman friend who shows up on campus ready to be told the right major, class schedule, and ministries to get involved in right from the throne of grace: this is a process.
I showed up to orientation high off of the confirmation that Jesus had given to me; I was so sure that I was supposed to be in that freshman class, on that campus, and becoming a part of that community that I built up a false hope that nothing would change my mind about my major or my calling there. While indeed God does not suddenly change the plans He has for you as you switch around your major, I realized a blaring misconception that twisted my hope all up in knots: He’s very intentional.
I entered as a Creative Writing and Youth Ministry double major. While I was absolutely sure that He created me as a writer, I was still finding out the kind of ministry He would have me do. I figured I could just decide on the age group that I was passionate about and align my major choice with that; while I’m passionate about children, there isn’t a specific “children’s ministry” major at my school, so I signed up confidently for the YMin program (same thing, right?).
I took a 200 level ministry course my first semester there entitled “Teaching in the Church.” It covered a multitude of subjects from “means of grace” to developmental psychology to teaching methods…and it was hard. The professor was the department head, had who knows how many degrees, was intelligent as well as spiritually wise, and had been in ministry his entire life. I worked myself to death studying for those tests only to drop my YMin major at the end of my first year. What?
Yes. Jesus had me declare a Youth Ministry major when He didn’t intend to have me stay within that program to completion.
That class ended up being one of my strongest confirmations of my current Psychology major. That professor ended up writing my letter of recommendation that got me a spot in a competitive ministry program and a stipend (scholarship) that made my second year of college virtually free (my mom thanks Jesus for that one as well). The connections I made in that program, I believe, helped me land a spot on the Spiritual Life Board this year as female Chair of Discipleship. All of these things were blessings and answers to prayer; they were also the result of the wrong major choice.
Know that He will do whatever He needs to do to get you where He wants you to be; that includes putting you in a position to receive a multitude of blessings that you never would’ve found if He just gave you the “right” answer.
So, stop looking for it.
Stop looking for Him to hand you the right answer to all of your questions. As a Father, He knows you deeply and knows what it will take in order to get you to where you need to be. He knew that if He would’ve told me to change my Youth Ministry major to Psychology when I showed up on campus, I wouldn’t have been willing to take classes in the ministry program anymore. He knew that someone in the ministry program needed to know my name, and the Psych professors didn’t quite need to yet. He knew that last semester I would declare a Psychology major and have exactly enough space left in my schedule to complete all my classes on time. We have a very intentional Father.
He’s going to get you to the answer, but you have to be willing to make mistakes, be wrong, stumble around a little, and try. You have to be willing to do it the unconventional way—what some may call the wrong way.
But my Jesus does it right every single time. So, who am I to argue?
Author : Molly Bramble