Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Journals of a Chi Alpha Student

When I look back through the journals I kept as a college student, I find a few reoccurring themes…I’m thankful for school…I’m frustrated with the girls on my hall in my dorm…I wish my campus really knew Christ…I wish I knew what to do with the guy from my church back home or the guy that works in the dining hall with me…and the list goes on and on. But the one statement I find over and over again in my journal from college is “I have learned something new today…”

My college years were a time of learning like I have never experienced before. I learned the difference between dirt and soil in my geology class, someone’s hierarchy of needs in psychology, and how to transcribe just about any language on earth in my phonetics classes. I learned how to balance a checkbook, and then get my miniscule paychecks directly deposited into my checking account so I could find the greatest sales online (then I got packages in my mailbox!). I learned how to write an 8 page paper in a matter of a few hours. And I learned how to fill my calendar with meaningful and meaningless activities. But I think the greatest thing I learned in college- despite all the other priceless lessons- was how to depend on God.

I learned how to depend on God to get me through the next 90 minute class, to walk with me through the upcoming week full of exams, papers, presentations, work schedules, gossiping friends, and invitations to wild weekend parties. My days as a college student were packed with classes, work, Chi Alpha events, meals in the dining hall, favorite TV shows, random road trips, and an occasional couple of hours of homework- and God got me through it all.

The summer before I began college, God showed me that I wasn’t going to school to simply earn a degree- I was going there to be a missionary for four years- my degree was only an added bonus. I was handed the opportunity to live in the same building- side by side- with other women that were dealing with life issues and needed God. The quiet high-schooler that only wanted to be invisible began to burn with a fire inside that could not be quenched. I wanted to let other people know who this God I loved truly was. I felt like an undercover agent with a secret weapon nobody expected me to have.

I never imagined that I would learn so much about this God I thought I knew. I learned that he loved each student on my campus and wanted them to know him. I learned that he hurt when his kids hurt and that he offered healing to those that needed it. And I learned that no matter how much it seemed that I had my life together, I still needed to depend on God for everything. I needed renewal each day (2 Corinthians 4:16) so that I could face the hardships of being a Christian on a secular university campus.

Thankfully, Chi Alpha was there for me. My campus pastors encouraged and taught me how to truly be an ambassador for Christ just as written in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors…”.

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