The feelings I experienced Thursday were more intense than
perhaps I’d ever felt.
Alone in my room, I really didn’t know what to do. I felt
like Jacob, the patriarch of Israel, as he prepared to meet his brother, Esau.
Jacob assumed Esau was out for revenge, so Jacob sent his family and servants
away. That night, the man who had so much was left totally alone.
|To the right is the Haile/US Bank College of Business, from whence I graduated.|
I made it a policy of mine this semester to spend as much
time with the people I loved while I had the opportunity. The cost sometimes
was sleep or procrastination, but I value relationships very highly, and I
didn’t want to miss out on being with others. It was a whirlwind, but I
accomplished the mission. Despite being my busiest yet, I probably spent more
time with friends than I ever have.
So after all these weeks, and the finals week consisting of
pancakes where I spent hours with people, I found myself alone. I had actually
come back from a tearful goodbye with a few “younger
” of mine. When the BCM had its senior night, I began to cry only
when I saw another friend doing so on my account. But this time, it was me. I
wanted to say more to Sara
Monica, and Stephanie, but I couldn’t. The last three years with them, I
believe, is sufficient to show them how much they mean to me.
And after spending another March for Life trip with Sara and
Monica—hours and hours of time—I was inspired to make a list of the people with
whom I continually, purposefully want to keep up. These are people I find
genuine and whose company I enjoy. Many of them have also helped me grow in my
|The NKU BCM - I'm on the left side of the photo in a white shirt.|
Many of these people are from the Baptist Collegiate
Ministry, from where most of my really close relationships come. No place has
been more instrumental in my growth as an individual and as a Christian. I
truly don’t know where I or my walk with Christ would be without the people
there. There were the guys that invested in me when I was an
underclassman—Josh, Matt, Ethan, Andrew, Michael, Austin. There are the people
that I’ve worked with that graduate with me—Sarah, Megan, Caleb. There are
those that are a year behind me who I had as the freshman leader—Alex, Sara,
Monica, Stephanie, Kate, Jeremiah, Trevor, Brad, Cody, Megan, Nathan. There are
others that I’ve known for a few years—Brooke (who
I had this discussion with at Beach Reach
), Brad, Bethany, Jacob, Dustin,
Chris, Lisa, Kelly, Sami, Karson, Sarah, etc. Then there are the people who I
haven’t known as long but who have had a huge impact on my life in the time
we’ve had—Natalie, Zach, Amy, Seanna, Lexi, Nick, Sam, Joey, Michael, Josh,
Megan, James, Alisha, Casey, Jacob, Jacob, Brandy, Christian, Devin, Nakayla. The list
could go on. I can’t fully put into words how greatly my life has been shaped
in this ministry. I came into college shooting from the hip, closed off to
Christians dissimilar from me, but I’ve learned to pick my battles and work
with those who are different. I came in only recently deciding to devote my
life to Christ, and am leaving with a true purpose. I encourage involvement
here, or some ministry that will help Christians grow.
Sports business and the College of Business have taught me a
lot as well, and I’ve developed a number of relationships there that have given
me a wider circle of people I’ve come to love. Mackenzie I can trust with any
assignment. Yasmine, Nick, and Nick, among others, have been there too. That’s
just in my program and in my graduating class.
There are a few other good friends I’ve met through various
other ways, like Kelsey, Elle, Nate, Jacob, Macy, Molly, Seth, Sean, Rhe, Liz, and
Shay. This isn’t exhaustive.
Northern Right to Life—with Joe, Rachel, Jennifer, Ella,
Kathleen, Emily, Mia, and a number of others—was something that helped ignite
my passion for pro-life ministry, along with my involvement in Created Equal.
This, too, has spanned hundreds of hours. I’ve also greatly enjoyed my
experience with NKU Athletics, and am grateful to Kelsey (love you!), Brandon,
Stan, and Micki for making it possible, as well as my fellow interns that I’ve
enjoyed working with and becoming friends with—Turner, Hannah, Logan, Hollyn,
Angie. I started out loathing having to work during games instead of paying
close attention to them. By the time we were partway through basketball season,
I felt a little lost not being with them.
“Lost” is a good description of how I feel now. I’ve lived
at NKU for about three-quarters of each of the last four years. Virtually all
of my close relationships, outside of family, are there. I’ve been invested.
I’ve grown so much. I’ve developed my own unique personality, desires, styles,
goals, and fears. I’ve found a passion for ministry and adventuring and helping
others I lacked. College was an opportunity for a fresh start. I was happy to
finish high school and move away. But this time, it’s different. I feel in many
ways I am totally different from the way I was before coming to this
university. That makes it difficult to leave.
NKU is a good school with a growing reputation from many
angles. It has been exciting to be a part of this campus. I know it so well by
now, as is evident from the precise directions to the dozens of people that ask
me for them. I’ve had the privilege to be on homecoming court twice, something
that never happened in high school. I’ve received various awards. I studied
abroad, my first time leaving the continent and my first time (of three)
flying. I had never been on a mission trip before college; now I’ve been on
nine. Before college, I had been to 12 states and two countries; now, 19 states
and three countries. I’ve had my horizons broadened to new work experience,
diverse friends, and serving God through various organizations. You’d best
believe I’ll be talking up this university at Ohio State, and wherever else I
So I sat there Thursday, eyes still puffy after talking to
my “sisters”, and considered what I am leaving. Not only will I not see close
friends as often, but I also may never see other friends and acquaintances
again. Especially weird is leaving people I’ve only known for a month. It was
something I had to wrestle. That’s the nature of life. To everything there is a
season, we are told in Ecclesiastes. I don’t lack faith in this area; I walk
forward claiming God’s promises. But I can’t help but feel a little lost as I
move two hours from this place. I know I’ll be around. I know I can still
maintain my friendships. But things will change. However, things will change
whether I leave or not. Friends will graduate and some will move. Trying to
maintain all these elements, exactly as they are, is a futile attempt to catch
lightning in a bottle.
That’s why I tried to spend as much time as possible with
friends and on campus. I thank God for relationships and a university that make
it so difficult to graduate. I’ve been a little annoyed with people who
couldn’t wait for it to be over.
|The Ohio State Moritz College of Law|
I have forever been shaped by my time at NKU. I’d love the
opportunity to move back to the area after I complete law school. But who knows
what may happen? For now, I am comforted with the fact that I’ll be down here
for parts of the summer, I won’t be too far away next school year, and that I
have impacted people that will want to keep up with me. I remember when I was
an underclassman that I had a few people I looked up to and learned from. Random
conversations I’ve had and texts I’ve gotten from underclassman have shown me
that I now am one of those people, and that is all I could have hoped for this
I know that doesn’t have to change. It just might take a
little more work.
Oh, by the way. That night that Jacob waited for Esau, he
wasn’t really alone.
And Jacob was left alone; and there
wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw
that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the
hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he
said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go,
except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name?
And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob,
but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast
prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me,
I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou
dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of
the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Jacob’s circumstances were ripe for a blessing from God. As
I (sort of) leave NKU, I expect the same.