Twelve years ago, I was a nervous homebody who was about to set off on a college adventure. After two years of community college, and digging my heels in as far as they could go, I knew I had to leave the nest for college. In fact, on this day (twelve years ago), I sang my last church solo, “I Don’t Want to Go” by Avalon. ~smile~
While many teenagers begin marking down the days to college from their first week in high school, I was the girl who never wanted to leave. In fact, I dreamed of my cousins and me owning a giant house where all of our future families could live and grow up together. Change has never been my forte, you might say. After years of dreading it, I knew I needed to go. Thankfully, my friend was coming with me, so that eased the transition quite a bit (and we didn’t even kill each other as roommates)!
The First Moment
Moving into the doom was a treat – chaos with sprinkles on top. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t thrive in stressful situations, so thousands of people wandering all over campus like drunken ants did nothing to ease my nerves. It was a relief when everything was moved in and my roommate and I could just be.
But dorm life is not a “keep to yourself” kind of experience. Between mandatory convocation services, hall meetings, and prayer groups, we spent a lot of time with our dorm mates.
I can vividly remember the first time I saw her. We all gathered in the lobby, all fifty of us, for our first hall meeting shortly after moving into our dorm. She came from around the corner, settled into the corner of the lobby and sat with her legs crossed. It’s not something I can fully explain, but I just knew she was going to be my friend. It’s like the Holy Spirit pointed her out specifically to me.
In the weeks following, she couldn’t get rid of me. To her, I was a random girl that kept inviting her to dinner and trying to talk to her. There is no telling what she thought of me at first – probably at least that I was outgoing and somewhat hard to discourage – but to me she was already my friend… she just didn’t know it yet. ~smile~
A month or so later, a situation forced her out of her room for the evening, and she chose to stay with my roommate and me. Of course, I slept through the whole debacle and just wondered what she was doing on our floor the next morning. ~smile~ Apparently, my uncharacteristic friendliness towards her (I’m usually quite shy) made her comfortable enough to bunk with us for the evening. From that day forward, we were pals, and we continue to be pals to this day.
I am thankful for all my friendships. They all began in different ways, but they are all distinctly different and special. What stands out to me about this friendship is how God literally told me she was going to be my friend. She and I are both so shy by nature. Neither she nor I would have been likely to seek out the other if the Holy Spirit had not given me a nudge. It is such a blessing to my heart that God went ahead of us and worked it out that we would be dorm-mates and friends for life (I had requested a different floor). I honestly cannot imagine what my college experience would have been like without her.
After two years of dorm life, we graduated to an apartment. Then, she was in my wedding. Now she lives a few minutes away and we enjoy swapping naughty puppy stories, news from the home fronts, and silly circumstances in which we often find ourselves. Looking back, I wish I had not been so afraid of leaving home and coming to college. I knew God was leading me to my college. I didn’t know he had an amazing husband and lifetime friend waiting for me, but I’m so thankful that He did.
Hindsight is 20/20, so here is what I’ve learned: God takes care of His children. He may not always care for us in the ways we prefer (e.g., providing me a husband in my hometown and allowing me to stay there forever, etc.), but He provides what we need. No matter how scary the future seems, it is a blessing to know that God is already there. He already knows what’s coming. It makes sense to trust Him. Had I trusted Him more twelve years ago, I could have spent a lot less time worrying and a lot more time enjoying my life. ~smile~
Whether it is a spouse, a child, a friend, or a mentor – God knows what you need. He will provide who (and what) you need just when you need them. And when He sends them into your life, cherish them and connect with them often. ~smile~
How has God led you to some of your dearest friends?