I really only have one word to describe this semester: grateful. While this post merely skims the surface of what God has been doing in my heart, it's something I've been having trouble putting into written word. I could write for pages and pages, but I'm sure no one wants to read all that. I've been talking enough ears off already. ;) This post is actually a slightly edited version of a paper I had to write for one of my classes.
As a background, last semester (Spring 2013) I changed my major from Biblical Counseling to Special Education. Everything seemed to be going right and how I wanted it to go. But my heart had no peace. I was running from God and I was hiding from that. But like Jonah, it was impossible for me to hide from God.
Maybe at some point, I'll have the time and brain power to articulate this semester into a better post. But for now, here it is: a portion of my testimony. I am forever blown away by the way God pursues a rotten sinner like me.
I was born and raised in a Christian home (both of my parents and my dad’s parents are BJU grads). My family moved around quite a bit when I was younger because of my dad’s job. When I was eight, we moved to the beautiful state of Washington where we stayed for 10 wonderful years. At the age of four or five, I told my parents that I had gotten saved and soon after I was baptized. But as the years went on, I began to doubt my salvation. The summer I was 11 years old, I fought a difficult battle. Did God really love me? Was I truly saved? Why would He save someone like me? My parents spent hours with me, explaining the Gospel and trying to help me find assurance of salvation. Finally, at the end of a long summer, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Every single day I am amazed and blown away by the fact that God loves and has saved a wretched sinner like me. There is nothing I have done to deserve the blessings He has given me. I take them for granted way too often and despite that, He continues to bless me.
As a freshman in high school, I eagerly looked forward to the day that I would arrive at college. I was homeschooled from the middle of fourth grade through my high school graduation, something that (to me) was not ideal. God worked a lot in my heart about my attitude, but I did not truly appreciate the sacrifices my mom made for me through homeschooling until I reached college. At the age of fourteen, I began to feel burdened for ministry. I can remember telling my dad that I wanted to “help those who could not help themselves.” I had been dead set on going to Bob Jones University from the day I learned that college was a thing. My dad suggested that I major in Biblical Counseling. Throughout high school I considered several other majors: Political Science, Communications, Nursing, Studio Art, and even (briefly) Culinary Arts. But my heart was always drawn back to Biblical Counseling.
I arrived at Bob Jones University my freshman year, a Biblical Counseling major ready to tackle studies and university life. I was met with many challenges and trials, but God was (and is) my Rock and Fortress through every single one. He has grown me immensely through every trial, and I am thankful for them. During my sophomore year, I began to doubt whether God had called me to the ministry. I toyed often with changing my major. During second semester, I changed my major to Special Education. It seemed like the right thing to do—I had a clear career path and fantastic ministry opportunities. A little bit of what I wanted, a little bit of what God wanted. It was perfect. Right? Wrong.
Through the summer and especially when I came back to BJU, I had no peace about where I was headed. I was completely off-kilter, running from God and fearing the future. God was working overhaul in my heart, and finally (thankfully), I gave in. I handed God the wheel and recommitted myself to ministry. While my major is once again Biblical Counseling, I know the diverse classes I am taking this semester will be useful to me in numerous ways. As I serve wherever God puts me, I will be an asset in ways that only God could have pieced together. I will be informed in the field of education and communication issues and be able to serve my church and ministry better. I know God has a purpose and a plan in even my waywardness. I am thankful for this semester and look forward to applying the tools I receive.