Being a freshman in college can be so exciting, nerve wracking, and, at the same time, heartbreaking. For most of us, it is our first taste of true freedom of being completely on our own, but what do we do with that freedom? Do we take advantage of finally being out from under our parents roof so we can go to every party, or do we sometimes go on a late-night pizza run with friends (you know, the place you don't mind telling your parents you're at)?
I am from a very small town in Southeastern Kentucky, called Fleming-Neon. I was raised in the Neon First Church of God and the amazing people in that church made me into the person I am today. I come from a big family who is very supportive of me and my church family falls right behind them.
I currently am studying business at Midway University in Kentucky on a soccer scholarship. I am about three hours from home, but it feels like I am on the other side of the planet. I had a daily routine of going to school, going to practice, coming home and sitting down with my four sisters and parents to eat dinner and talk about everyone's day. When I decided that I was going to Midway, I signed my letter of intent to play soccer. My pastor along with some other members of my church family came to my signing and I was beyond blessed to sign my national letter of intent with them there, alongside of my teammates, coaches, family and friends.
After graduating high school, the church threw the graduates a graduation party where they gave us school supplies. I was so thankful for it. I didn’t have to buy any school supplies for my first Fall semester.
I am very close with everyone in my hometown, so it was very hard for me to leave everything behind, but I knew that I had to go to school. On move in day, I cried like it was my first day of Kindergarten all over again. But, fortunately, I made friends quickly on the soccer team, so I had people to talk to.
When you are in a public college, there is a party every weekend. I happened to be the “mom” of my friend groups because they would ask me to be the DD (designated driver) before and after the parties. I was trying to be a good friend, but I found myself lonely a lot. I didn’t like the same things as them and I didn't do the things that they did, so I felt like I didn’t belong. Yes, I went to a few parties, but I never found enjoyment in them. I had no desire to be under the influence of anything, so I pretty much was there to take care of my friends.
One day I sat in my room by myself because my friends were participating in things I didn’t agree with. I was in my room for about six hours, and I had never felt more alone. My parents and sisters were three hours away and I didn’t have any friends to talk to. I called my mom and cried because I wanted to go home. I was completely alone and just wanted to be back with my family. But my mom, of course, tells me that God never puts more on us than we can handle so we are never alone. After that phone call, I dried my tears and decided to make new friends. Friends that like the same things I do and want to have a movie night instead of going to a party. After praying for friends that would make my college experience exactly what I wanted it to be, I got them. Praise God.
Don’t get me wrong, I love everyone that came into my life during college, but you never realize how hard it is to be a light for God around people that don’t see things the way you do. As a result, I wrote a poem that was my motto for myself through my first semester. I had many obstacles, from roommate problems to soccer to classes and friends. I knew that God was right there holding my hand though. My poem was called “Be a Daisy in the Desert,” which means it is ok to stand on your own, to stand on what you believe, and it is ok to not have friends beside you, because with God, you are never truly alone. You will feel like there is no one there and there is nothing that could fix this feeling, but there is. College is a very trying time in a Christian's life, and I encourage all of you to find a group of friends so that your lights will shine together, and everyone will know that together you show the amazing Grace of God.
be ready to have the wind knock you down and sand in your face. be ready for no one to hand you anything. you will have to be patient and wait. wait upon the Lord. he is your strength. bloom where you are planted, even if the Lord has planted you somewhere you don’t see how you can survive. be willing to have an open mind, be a daisy in the desert with the thrust to survive. never question the Lord even when you have a million questions in mind. Why? Why God? Why am I the one going through this? God has a reason, He is there. He will lead you to the reason if you learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Everything has a reason, even if we don’t understand it. Be a Daisy in the Desert. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25).
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