In 2011 some of my friends from church went to college, and I wanted to send them some loving words. This is what I would tell myself if I could go back to when I went to college. Now a couple of my precious nieces are headed out to various Christian colleges, and I wanted to share those thoughts with them. I love you both! I'm stunned and thrilled to see what God is doing in your hearts and lives, and I can't wait to see you again. I'm reposting these because Grandpa requested that I do so.
you! Getting ready to go to Bible College! I want to talk to you! Are
you excited? I remember getting ready to go, and I was excited, a little
nervous, a little fearful. Once I got into the swing of things, that
first year, I had so much fun. I hope you do to! I talked to my husband
(Who I met that year, by the way.) and asked him that if he could talk
to himself from back then, what would he say to himself. I know I would
like to have a couple words with myself from that year! Here are a few
tips we came up with, and my post was getting long, so I organized them
into separate posts with tips on the school, tips on myself, and tips on
1. If you are going to the
same school I went to, try to start out with a hair do that can get
blown to smithereens and look decent with a finger-combing. I started
out with a pom-pom shaped perm'! Big mistake. (No, I will not be posting
pictures of it.) You may whine about the wind. Everyone is going to be
doing it, just don't overdo it. And don't overdo the hairspray. You'll
regret it every time. Also, memorize Proverbs 30:4, and every time you
go out there into it you will get an object lesson on the power of God.
And when you go into a building, hold your skirt. Just sayin'. (Wind
going sideways hits the building, and then blows up right next to it.)
2. Get over the rule book. It's a Bible college.
They have to have rules, and some of these rules make certain folks
uncomfortable. If God wants you to go there, then it makes sense that He
will want you to follow the authorities. Even if the rules don't make
sense to you, you should just do it as long as they aren't asking you to
do something wrong. Who knows, you might learn that some of them have
actual reasons behind them. Don't whine about the rules.
3. The cooking will be different than your mom's. Your mom doesn't have to cook for hundreds of people.
You will get preached at. A lot. Enjoy it! You'll never have a time
like this again. Just don't forget to bring your heart to the altar before
the service. If God impresses on your heart to make some changes, write
the changes down in the journal you will get. If you are struggling in
an area spiritually, write that down too, as a prayer, in the same
journal. Later, you will be amazed at how faithful God is to answer and
teach you just what you need.
5. If you never struggle
spiritually, and never feel God pushing at you to make a change here and
there, there are only two options. Either you are so very far away from
God that you have no idea what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you,
or you are not saved. Get that matter fixed! This is a spiritual
battle, and it is no place for half-hearted Christians, or lost people. I
remember coming to that question during a lukewarm time at school, and
God showed me that I wasn't anywhere near where I thought I was,
spiritually. The decisions I made that day gave God the freedom in my
life to lead me to the place I am today, and I believe firmly that if I
had continued to resist Him, I would be out of His will today!
If there are conflicts between you and an authority, go read Hebrews
13:17 and think about how God wants you to deal with it. He does not
want you to tell all your friends. He does not want you to quit. He does
not want you to self destruct because you are fuming over it all the
time. He wants you to A.) Pray for them, because their duty is to God,
not you. B.) Obey them. If they aren't asking you to sin against God,
why not? C.) If someone is abusing their authority, the school
authorities ought to be notified. If you don't think it's that serious,
then it's not serious enough to gossip or get bitter over. Ok, it's
never serious enough to gossip or get bitter over. That will just make
their problem ruin you, which is unprofitable for you, my friend.
You are there to study and learn. Have fun, but apply yourself to the
subjects. Get everything you can from them. You will need it later.
Prepare your projects ahead of time, and make time to study. You are
learning to balance work, recreation, and ministry. If you are like me,
you will probably fall out of balance in each of these areas from time
to time. The important thing here is knowing when to correct the
problem, not being perfect all the time.
8. Take a
typing class the first year, if you don't know how to type, not the
third year like a certain young lady I knew. Duh? (that was me.) It will
make some things much, much easier. Also anything else that will help
you prepare projects, like computer courses; first year!
Also take time to develop your soul winning skills. You need first to
depend completely on the Holy Spirit. A formula, or list of verses is
useful, but the Holy Spirit knows the need of the heart, so get
connected with Him. Also you need to know your Bible. Prayerfully
studying the Word, just so you can have an answer for anyone who asks is
vital. Don't depend on classes to do this, or your church background.
If you are from my church, I know you have a solid understanding of
doctrine, but you still need to study for yourself.
Enjoy the school! Enjoy the ministry, the church services, the spirit,
the work. No place is perfect, but soak up all the blessings God has for
you there. I've known some young people who do nothing but whine when
they go to school. Honestly, most of the whiners drop out, or stop
whining. You need those blessings to make it through, and if you are
complaining all the time, they will pass you right by. So have fun, and
I've got a couple more posts on this
topic up my sleeve. I hope it's a blessing to someone! I sure did enjoy
my time at Bible college. God used it in too many ways to count so He
could put me where I am and shape who I am today.