Friday, April 18, 2008

Jeremiah 29:11

My senior year of high school I began to panic about the concept of college. I had little clue what to expect, what to study or where to go. We were assigned a guidance counselor to help us along the way but she pretty much gave me a packet of applications, had me fill them out and she sent them in for me. She didn’t discuss with me any options. I wanted options. What do you do in college? What’s it like? I had only one sister out of all 5 of us who graduated from high school. She did go on to college but because of the distance in years between us, I never talked to her about college. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what she got her degree in until a few years ago! I floundered and cried and was all confused. Where should I go? Should I go? And the biggie- how on earth could I even afford it? How much does it cost to go to college?
In 8th grade I signed up to be a part of the 21st Century Scholar program. To this day I don’t even know what all that entails but I do know that they give you a sizeable chunk of change for a scholarship to help with college.

This is what I thought I did know. I wanted to go someplace small, with a Christian atmosphere that is close to home. I wasn’t even going to dwell on what to study. I’m terrible with decisions to begin with. Can’t I just be doctor/lawyer/singing/actress with no schooling? That’s what I had planned to be from the time I was about 6…
I had applications in to Evansville, Taylor, Central Bible College and Bethel.
Just before graduation the panic set in. So I got on my knees and began praying like nobodies business. God, do you want me to go to college? If you do, where do you want me to go. And oh the tears. I think God filled 3 bottles. That night I was reading my bible and came across the verse in Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I had actually never heard of that verse before. God was speaking directly to me. I finally came to a point where I really didn’t know what God wanted, and I didn’t want to do anything without knowing what He wanted so I gave up. But I had that verse so I just stopped worrying about it. In the meantime, Bethel College had a recruiter calling me. He would call every now and then and check on my decision. One day he finally just told me a day we could come and check out the school. So my mom and I went.
Before the big day my mom said that she wanted to talk to me because she had a dream. She told me her dream, and that the dream was of the college I was to attend. Somehow, I don’t remember anything else other than that. Just that mom had a dream.
We got to Bethel and had our tour. We went through the cafeteria and there on a huge banner hanging up at the front of the room were the words of Jeremiah 29:11. I felt a little tickle in my heart that said I was in the right place. We ended the tour and on the way home my mom described her dream and said Bethel looked just like the dream she had except for a few things. But she never told me those things.
So I wound up at Bethel. By the end of my freshman year they had the new Fine Arts building up and the pond put in that is just in front of it. When my mom came to visit me around that time she just kept looking around the campus grounds. Then she told me: “Joy, that building and that pond were in my dream. When we came to see the school for the first time, they were the pieces missing from my dream.” God gave my mom the dream with a picture of the completed campus. (At least completed up to the 4 years I attended.)

All that just to say. Isn’t God amazing?

I did graduate in 1999 with my degree in Church Music Ministry. And now.. I'm a secretary. But that's beside the point. 

And coming up someday soon: "Study to Worship: My College Experience".


The Flick Family said...

you're not JUST a're like PAM!!!! you have something in common with her for when we take her out to coffee. i bet her boss is worse than yours. is your boss bad? i don't even know. :)
that is an awesome story. i didn't know that at all.

Anonymous said...

Joy, it was the Fountain! I remember it distinctly; Mom had the dream with the Fountain in it that had not yet been put in in front of the new building. She told me all about it. And she was exatcly right - so were you - you were supposed to go there.

I love that story...

Aunt B-

Anonymous said...

Oh,my, Joy, in the photo of you holding two small toddlers, we look waaaaaaayyyyyy too much alike... You poor thing.

Aunt B-

Holly said...

Isn't that just like God to be awesome like that? :-) thanks for sharing! very inspiring! Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my faves too. Glad you ended up at Bethel cuz otherwise I wouldn't have known you and wouldn't have an entertaining blog to read! ;-)

jenn said...

that is an incredible story joy! thanks for sharing! God definitely is amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

Neat story. I'm pumped for the second! I should put stories of faith and Godly stuff on my blog... Wait, i'm still kinda young and i think most of my struggles will come later on, maybe not tho. We'll see what God does. Oh, and for the record, i love that Bible verse. I came across it the other day...i had forgotten about it up till that point. It was so comforting and made me thank God w/ a smile! :)

Anonymous said...

whoo! I'm on a roll! I posted you 3 comments on here in one night...including this is 4!!haha