Sunday, May 18, 2014

College Year One in Review: God's Evident Providence

            It’s amazing to see God work.
            While it’s happening, it’s hard to see what’s going on. But when you look back, it’s a beautiful thing to see that the Providential care that guided Christians of old is still guiding us today. And I have seen that in its fullest work over this past year or two.
            I applied to four colleges and had letters from Ivy League schools. I received my best offer from Northern Kentucky; hence, not being one of great substance, I went with NKU. But I wasn’t particularly sure of it. It wasn’t until orientation that I realized it was a good fit for me. Even so, the first couple weeks weren’t the most smooth as I began to live on my own.
            I was happy to be away from what I had grown up with (sorry everyone, I still come back and visit), but it took until I was more involved to know why God had brought me to NKU.
            I had heard of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and wanted to get involved, but I eased into it during the first semester. I hadn’t planned on getting involved with Northern Right to Life or Freshman Service Leadership Committee, but decided to after meeting some people already involved. I wasn’t exactly sure how classes would go, but they seemed to pan out.
            Many of my friends have come from the groups whose convictions I share. After I became fully involved in the BCM, I realized that, although I don’t agree with many on every point, it was great to see fellow Christians that weren’t ashamed of it, yet at the same time share similar testimonies to me. Then there are those who have only recently become Christians. That, along with watching God work in others’ lives, has been a great encouragement to me. By the time I got into the second semester, I had something going on every weekday at the BCM. Then the Leadership Team applications came around, and I am now one of the Freshman Focus leaders for next year. I had looked at other opportunities to have an impact on freshmen; all those options seemed to fall through. Yet now, because I became involved, I have the best possible way to have an impact- by being a spiritual guide to those transitioning into college. At any other college I applied to, there isn’t a BCM.
            While before I had questioned whether I wanted to get involved in a church, the summer before I made that commitment. And so it was I came to Revive Baptist Church in Over-the-Rhine. I was placed in the unique situation of actually being a minority in the congregation, and I liked it. I was placed under the influence of Godly people and had the opportunity to help in the ministry. Nowhere else are there start-up church planting works in an urban area.
            Alas, Revive moved further away over winter break, and I visited a closer church down the road from me, Immanuel Baptist Church. I was welcomed by everyone there and met a number of NKU alumni and current students. Through this church I have been able to be involved with a group of college students and young adults, as well as hear equally great preaching. I look forward to being further involved in the church’s ministries in the future.
            Spending more time in the pro-life movement led to further opportunities. I’ve been able to work on various projects to help mothers and raise awareness around campus. I’ve even hidden at night in an effort to catch vandals. We were told that a group called Created Equal was coming to campus, a group that uses abortion victim imagery. I was uneasy about this method but talked to them anyway. Later I was able to help with the Genocide Awareness Project and heard the reasoning behind victim imagery. I prayerfully decided to go on the Justice Ride Created Equal does on spring break, and since have done a couple other outreaches and plan on going on the summer Justice Ride. It was one time walking by a table that got me involved in NRTL. It was a decision to talk to someone from Created Equal that got me involved with them. If any one piece would have fallen through, I wouldn’t have the involvement I do. God was intimately involved in this, guiding each step.
            There are also friends I’ve made through classes. Who I chose to talk to and associate with also shows God working. There have been some people I’ve talked to and didn’t see for a while, and a relationship was never able to form. But there have been others that I’ve seen at random times that allowed a relationship to begin and grow. In just one instance, I had talked to someone once in class, and just happened (a.k.a God made it happen) to see her one evening in the dining hall. I chose to go over and talk to her, and things went from there.
            I’ve realized how tough a college course load can be, having spent hours at a time in the library. Living in a dorm has taught me valuable patience. Meeting a diverse range of people has deepened my understanding of different cultures both in the U.S. and abroad.
            NKU is located in a suburb of Cincinnati, essentially. Hence we are in a small community but are a short distance from Newport, Covington, and Cincinnati. The opportunities I’ve been presented to meet people through ministries, community service and the Sports Business Club are too many to recount.
            And the Sports Business major. Anywhere else I applied to I could have taken Sports Management. But this way, instead of the program being through the Department of Kinesiology, it gives a business background, something I was more inclined to do.

            Bottom line, I had absolutely no ability to predict all of this. All I did was follow a scholarship that God put in place to bring me here. Everything else fell into place. If any one thing would have changed in any situation, my life would be different- possibly drastically different. But it has been Providence that has laid them in place, and the faith He allows me to have that have made all of this happen. I can only anticipate what the coming years will hold.

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