Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Giant Step

Here goes. College. How many decisions can revolve around ONE thing (and such intimidating choices sometimes)?

Over spring break some major and slightly unexpected college decisions came up. As I think I've mentioned before, I am currently taking about 6 hours in English classes from a "local" university...After a break from school in 2008, my parents thought it'd be wise for me to "ease" back into college. I've been working fairly steadily for two doctors on medical transcription, so that has more than filled in the extra time. My parents and I have had various conversations over the past few months regarding school, and what I felt like I should do with it...But until a couple of weeks ago I really didn't know. I would pray about it, beg God to show me what to do, but it didn't seem like He was answering. So I just gave up on trying to "make" it work on my own, and waited for His answer, taking it one step at a time (albeit somewhat impatiently at times).

So: Spring Break 2009. The deadline for application to a certain university my dad had mentioned was coming up; as I was not very eager to consider that particular college, he suggested that I do some research on other schools, if I was interested in transferring from the one I'm currently attending. Now, up to that point, I had not put a lot of effort into that area - I was not particularly excited about any of the universities I had heard about recently and didn't feel any strong leading from God in that direction, so I didn't want to "waste my time," so to speak. You know what I mean? So I had to wait until God moved me (though I kept busy with what He did give me to do). It was NOT easy, let me tell you! To have to trust patiently that He would move me when He was ready, and until then do something that I didn't particularly want to do (attend the local university again). Anyway, for some reason a particular acquaintance popped into my head one day and I looked up the college that they attended. I liked many aspects of it, but upon further research my dad pointed out some things that changed my mind about it. However, that sparked my dad and I to get back into searching for schools. Almost immediately he showed me one at which a family friend is now teaching - he and his family (their daughter being a friend of mine) moved there earlier this year. The more I read about it, the more I liked it. We contacted the friend (a pastor) that is teaching there, and he had a lot of positive things to say about it too...So I unexpectedly spent a good part of my spring break filling out college applications. And last week I got a call from the admissions counselor for transfer students there (I'll be transferring with approximately 45 credits or so) - I've been accepted! Not only that, but with a grade-based scholarship. :D

However, now comes the even more unexpected part. This university (John Brown University) is in Arkansas. "So?" you say? Well, it's just not what I had anticipated when considering my college plans. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be moving to Arkansas to attend college, I probably wouldn't have believed you - I thought I'd be doing college online or at least living at home and commuting. Part of the struggle has been working through that switch - I'm a planner, and like to know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen, and I don't usually like sudden changes in plans (unless it's obviously for the better). It was actually my parents who first suggested the idea that perhaps the Lord was telling them that they needed to let me go "away" for school; I don't think I would have even considered it if they hadn't brought it up. It's not going to be easy - not only leaving my family, but moving away from the town in which I have spent my entire life thus far (almost 19 years now). There have been tears shed about it, I assure you...But we all feel that the Lord is directing me to follow this path and we have a peace about it, despite the pain of separation to come. And I need to get off this subject now, before I starting crying again.

The nice thing is that I'll probably only have to be there about 2 years, maybe 3, depending on how many of my credit hours transfer. And please don't misunderstand me; though there is pain involved, I am also so very excited for what God is doing. I am extremely happy about this school and being able to attend it. From all the research I've done thus far, it's an absolutely awesome school with a wonderful Christian environment. I praise the Lord! :)

So with all that, if you would, please pray for me. There are still more decisions to be made on this topic (my major, for example), and it can be a little overwhelming to say the least. Many thanks. :)

P.S. Have any of you done any Scottish Country Dancing before? If not, you really should look into it. Some friends of ours introduced us to it a few weeks ago, and we love it - we went to one of their socials recently (put on by the local Royal Scottish Country Dancing groups) and are eagerly excited for more of them (and the ball in late summer).


WildWeazel said...

Its good that someone managed to do something productive and important over spring break!
It's good to hear that you got into a good school. Hopefully Arkansas is not too far away from your region of Texas. I'm several states and many degrees latitude from home myself. I know what you mean about it being unexpected. It was an interesting series of circumstances that put me where I am now- but that's a whole other blog post. I've thoroughly enjoyed my years in college (so much so that I'm doing it again!) and I'm thankful that things worked out the way they did.

Mada said...

Arkansas? That's going to be a bit of a transition. At least it's not that far from Texas. What are you studying there - continuing with music?

You're blessed that you'll be going to a Christian college; I'm currently at a technical university that is operated by the government (as are all universities in New Zealand). It's fine, but I do wish I had more Christian friends there. Not so keen on the prodigious amounts of swearing, either.

NotMyOwn said...

WildWeazel: It's not too far from where I live right now (the drive can be done in a day), but far enough that you wouldn't want to make the drive twice in 24 hours.

And it's encouraging to hear that you are so enjoying your time away at college! I'd be interested to hear about the "interesting series of circumstances" that brought you to where you are now, too...

Mada: I know, a "transition" indeed.

Actually, I think that the Lord is directing me to a degree in Photography at this point, with "minors" (give or take a few classes - there is no actual "minor" in JBU's photography degree plan) in Digital Media Arts and Worship Ministries (music, of course). :)

And yes I am very blessed to be able to go to a Christian college. I'm going to a "state" university right now, and I don't like it at all, really (for the reason you mentioned, and others). So ALL of the universities in New Zealand are government-run? Wow...


BTW, to both of you - do you prefer to still be called by your "screen names" or is it ok to use your real names? I know how important it is to some people (take me for example...there are only a few people in this blogging community that even KNOW my real name), so I wanted to check with you guys for permission on that.

WildWeazel said...

Parts of that "series of circumstances" can be found in my blog if you delve deep enough. Maybe I'll write up the whole story someday. Surprisingly few people know anything about it.
And you may call me whatever you prefer.

Mada said...

I don't mind being called by my real name. My opinion is, if somebody is weird enough to stalk me, I'm both old enough and physically strong enough to deal with it. That, and I have a few friends who work in security. :-D

NotMyOwn said...

WW: Well if you should post it, I'd be interested in reading it. ;)


*chuckles* Very well; Adam it is then. :)