And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”Mark 5:19
When I had visited OU, one of the main things that drew me to the school was the plethora of churches surrounding the campus. I recall thinking, surely one of these churches would be a good replacement for HFBC. Still, I was terrified. I knew that coming up to OU meant not only a new church but new friends, new streets, goodness for that sake a new STATE! I used to think, really Lord? Of all the places you can take me for college...Oklahoma...who even lives there? Honestly, I hadn't even heard of OU till I started looking for colleges with ID (I know, I know, that's pretty bad). I was moving to OU with all of three people from my highschool, one was a close girlfriend so that was nice, the other someone I'd known since the 7th grade but we've seen each other maybe twice every year we've been here, and the third was someone I knew but we weren't really friends in any way. Then I have two friends I'd made at Camp Crimson, but who's to say I'd see them again? (I did, but that's another story).
|Baptist Student Union: Walker Stalkers. 2009|
In the months leading up to my big move to Oklahoma, I prayed. I asked God for friends that would be true followers of Him. I asked Him for authentic friendships. I asked Him for guy friends because I'd never really had any (once someone didn't believe me on this, then they looked at my high school scrapbooks...truth people, there are very few pictures of boys in there) before. I prayed for a best friend. I prayed for friends that would have fun. I prayed for friends that I could attend church or some organizations with...and many more things. I can't even begin to describe how God answered every single one of those prayers. If I did, it would take way too many posts that you'd care to read. He amazed me, I was flabbergasted. I didn't even know how to take it all in. This I know for sure: God hears you, God sees you, God cares for you. I stepped out, scared and shaking and the Lord cared for me.
|Sigma Phi Lambda Seniors, 2012.|
To list a few of these things: He made me bold enough to talk to a girl who soon became my best friend, (you can read more about that here), he brought me to the Baptist Student Union where I met so many friends who shared my freshmen year with me, he introduced me to Sigma Phi Lamba (boy that's a funny story for another time) where I formed so many beautiful friendships with lovely ladies, he gave me friendships in ID and people he brought me a new home church. That last one was the biggest. Basically every Sunday for the first month or so I tried a new church around here, I'd wanted to attend one as close to campus as possible...no, God had other plans and led me to the biggest church in Norman, Journey Church.
|My walker classroom. 2011|
Journey soon became my second home, I still missed HFBC but I was finding new community at Journey. It was different than my traditional Baptist background but the truths were the same. I found myself constantly being drawn back and soon enough I was volunteering in the Kid's department and forming bonds with families in the church. God gave me a family in Norman...I hadn't even prayed for that one!
|My roomies, and our Norman mom at church. 2012|
His constant care and providence for me through college has been outstanding! I needed a job, He found me one IN THE CHURCH! I needed friendships, He gave me them. When it came time for roommates, He found me some (read here). When I needed help on projects, He sent me friends to bring me lunch and drive me to presentations. When I had no where to go for Easter, He brought me a friend lunch. When I lost my keys, He gave me a friend willing to drive me around. When my car broke down, He gave me a friend to rescue me. The list could go on and on.
|My girlfriends praying over me: just what I needed.|
What I've learned most in these past four years is to trust God. Things go wrong, they just do. We are human and this is the world. But God came to save us from that. He died on a cross to take away our sins so when we did mess up, we could seek Him and keep moving forward. Philippians 3:13 : "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead." We are called to trust, seek and lean on Him. He knows our needs and He hears our hearts. Trust your Jesus!
The best part? My story doesn't end there! There are so many things He is working at within me. He's most graciously helped me plan and pay for a beautiful wedding. He's given me a husband that I never planned on, a man who seriously, every day surprises me, reminding me of how our relationship was brought together by our Savior. And I'm still learning, I'm learning to trust, I'm learning to be an adult and a wife, I'm learning to make every day count for my Savior. I still fall, I still mess up but God, He always takes me back. He is always there waiting for his daughter to come and seek His strength again.
Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death. Psalm 68:20