When I matriculated into Waynesburg University as a freshman, I had no idea what to expect. It was an uncomfortably hot day in August and the sidewalks were crowded with families and new students—hundreds of faces I didn't know. I was terrified. Everything was about to change. I was entering the unknown with no one to catch me if I fell.
What had I gotten myself in to?
In high school, I was the girl who never quite knew where she belonged. I'll admit, it was my own fault, really. I had kept myself guarded, unwilling to take a chance at becoming something more than who I had limited myself to be. I was afraid of rejection. In my mind, keeping at a distance meant not getting hurt, but it also meant not being able to grow.
Attending college would force me to step out of my comfort zone and I didn't know if I was quite ready for that, but God knew what I needed and encouraged me to take the plunge.
“In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56: 4 (NIV)
To my surprise, as my first weeks unfolded, I began finding comfort in my surroundings and the positive energy exuded around me. The people were welcoming. They smiled and held the door open for me, they asked me how I was doing, where I was from and what my future plans were, but most importantly, to me, they were open about their faith.
This is where I belonged.
When I attended Chapel for the first time, I was amazed to see a group of college students openly worshipping and praising God. The preconceived notions I had been fed through television shows and movies had given me an undesirable vision of what college was going to be like, but I was pleased to find things were different at Waynesburg. I could feel God's presence in the voices of those singing and in the words outwardly spoken.
When I found Waynesburg, my walk of faith began. Ready or not, God was there, telling me this was where I needed to be. Undoubtedly, I have a ways to go before I find my life's mission, but the seeds have been planted. God is at work in my life now more than ever, and I have Waynesburg to thank for igniting the flame.
I have no fear looking forward.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29: 11 (NIV)