First-Year Reflections


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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Taking the giant step from high school to college is intimidating and stressful. For many, including myself, college means packing up and moving several hours away from family and the familiar to a brand-new place filled with strangers. Many prayers have been prayed through the process of selecting this university, and the time has finally come when you will officially begin your college journey. Paperwork is completed, classes are scheduled, you are successfully moved into your dorm room, and your family gives you one last hug before climbing into the silver van about to make the 11 hour trek back home. The moment is here: you are on your own. Though the first days and weeks, or even months for some, are overwhelming and chaotic, this new place will eventually become your home, and those strangers will eventually become your friends. For me, John Brown University is my home, and its people have become some of the closest friends I have ever had.

You have been told that your college experience is to be some of the best years of your life. However, it’s still the third week of school, and you can’t help that sick feeling in your stomach. Worries, doubt, and anxiety cloud your mind and squeeze your heart. At least this is how I felt. I could not eat, I could not sleep, and I was overwhelmed by my sudden, though long awaited, independence. I finally had the opportunity to be the person I wanted to be, the person God wanted me to be, but I felt uneasy and agitated. One night, while I was reading my personal devotions, I realized that I was not relying on God’s perfect timing. I had been subconsciously expecting things to fall into place immediately, and from that moment on I made a decision to wait patiently and pray for God’s peace. The next day during chapel worship I experienced a strange feeling of sudden relief that I can only explain as an overwhelming sense of God’s peace.

There are times in life when we are impatient and feel as if God needs some encouragement to work faster. What we do not always remember is the fact that we have a faithful God who is constant. It is His timing that is perfect, not our own. I can now look back over my shoulder and see that God was using my first weeks of college to expose my need for a patient and prayerful heart. There is great joy and calmness that fills our hearts when we wait for and accept God’s timing. I will always remember that moment in the isle of wooden pews in the Cathedral of the Ozarks. One minute I was singing praise amongst my fellow students and fellow believers, and the next second my head felt sharper, the sick feeling in my stomach vanished, the tightness around my heart was released, and I felt joy. In that moment, I knew that JBU was where God wanted me to be. I looked to my left and to my right and saw the most genuine, selfless, and God-fearing people, and I knew that JBU was my home and that these people were going to become my true and lifelong friends.

Blog HomePosted By: Kelley Brady - 3/8/17 10:00 AM



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