Like most kids who are churched their whole lives, I came to realize my need for a Savior at a young age. At the age of eleven, while sitting in a Sunday morning Church service, the actuality of needing the Savior’s forgiveness of my sin pressed heavily on my heart. In my little girl’s reality, I realized that I did bad things and needed to ask God to forgive me, and of course, I wanted to go to Heaven. So I prayed a simple prayer and felt God’s love and forgiveness. Shortly thereafter, I was baptized and continued to learn about the Heavenly Father who loved me and wanted me to trust Him.
That simple faith continued to grow, but the magnitude of that decision did not really sink in until I went away from home to college. There I began to understand that my faith was truly my own. It was a difficult journey. I felt very alone with my belief in God. My Mom and Dad were not around to encourage me. My three roommates were upperclassmen and not believers. I had no connection with any Church in the area. These things, combined with my shy and quiet nature, made me miserable, yet drove me to my knees.
But my God…
That September, on my first day of classes, I said a silent prayer and walked into my first class feeling terrified, until I saw Jane, the girl that I had shared a room with at orientation week during the summer. We immediately reconnected and thus began a journey that continued throughout my four years of college. As I continued through that first day, Jane and I ended up in five out of six classes. God was definitely directing my path. He knew that I needed a friend who was a Christian and so He sent Jane. We became almost inseparable despite having different room assignments.
That first semester Jane and I struggled to find a community to worship with, but we did a Bible Study with an on-campus group. I felt myself growing into a deeper relationship with Jesus as my prayer life grew more consistent. Even while this was happening, my roommates tormented me because I was a freshman, because I was shy, and most of all, because I was a Christian.
But my God…
A few weeks before the end of the first semester, a room for four girls became available. Jane and I took the chance and applied to move into that room together. It was definitely a long-shot because upperclassmen go to the top of the list, but we put our names on the list anyway. Two weeks later, we got the call that we had been approved to move into room 206 and that two other freshmen, Sally and Karen, would be joining us. It was a total surprise to us, but not to God. He had a plan beyond what we could think or imagine. Our new roommates were both Christians and seeking a church also. We immediately bonded, found a Church that loved college students, and became known as The 206 Girls on campus. We are still friends to this day.
At that little Church I learned that sharing Jesus and serving others was my most important mission in life, that sharing God’s love was the source of my joy, and that despite the pressures of college life, there were always opportunities to point people to Jesus and show others His love through service.
There have been many “But my God” moments throughout my life, but none so foundational to my spiritual growth and understanding as those that happened during my freshman year in college.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)