Embarking on God’s next great adventure

Two weeks. 14 days. A fortnight. That’s how much longer I’ll be in Colorado.

This summer has sped by unbelievably fast. It feels like it was just days ago that Jarod and I ran across the Y in the dark to our first leadership meeting. I was terrified, felt unprepared and knew no one. I had no idea where anything was on grounds.

Now here we are, almost two months exactly since I arrived. I know the grounds like the back of my hand. I can probably take you to 90% of the 200+ cabins out here without looking at a map.

I’ve met a ton of amazing people from all over the country. I’ve gotten to know some fellow Tigers so much better than before I got out here. God has taught me more than I could have possibly imagined that he would teach me. He’s teaching me things I did not think I would be learning about this summer. It’s been astounding.

But during the almost 9 weeks I’ve been out here, I’ve also managed to neglect a lot of responsibilities from back home. I have been a terrible SC to my 22 PAs. I’ve barely answered emails from them and haven’t even started looking at their syllabi yet. (That’s tomorrow evening’s plan.) I’ve been a terrible SC to my fellow SCs. I haven’t even thought about PA training, yet, and that starts in two weeks.

I’m not entirely sure I have what I need to move into my apartment in two weeks. I haven’t even thought about ordering text books.

And then there’s grad school.
I told myself that this summer I would research grad school and figure out where I wanted to apply. After weeks and weeks and weeks of telling myself that’s how I would spend my day off that week, I woke up this morning with still no research done.

Well, that’s sort of a lie. I reached out to a lot of ResLife professional staff a few weeks ago and sent some emails and Facebook messages asking for their advice, but I hadn’t really done anything with what they told me or the schools the recommended to me.

So at 4:30, and again at 7:30 this morning, when I woke up with a stomach ache, I decided to call in sick, get some rest and do some research. I compiled the schools I had been considering plus the schools my higher-ups had recommended to me and came up with a list of 22 schools. TWENTY-TWO. Daunting.

I spent several hours online today looking over each program thoroughly, and here’s what we’ve got so far:

Preliminary Research Done:
Ball State
Bowling Green
Georgia
Texas A&M
Texas State
UNT
Illinois State
Grand Valley State
Vermont
Indiana
Iowa
Ohio State
Miami-Ohio
Michigan State
South Carolina

Eliminated:
Clemson
Eastern Illinois
Texas Tech
Illinois
Colorado State
Iowa State
Maryland

Obviously I still have a lot more in-depth research and narrowing down to do, but at least I’m on track. The earliest applications aren’t due until December 1, so I also have a little bit of time, but this summer I wanted to at least narrow it down to the schools I wanted to apply to.

The biggest thing right now is giving this decision completely over to God. I’m struggling a little bit because, in all honesty, if I had to pick a school to go to right here and now, I would pick A&M.

I’ve been thinking about A&M since mid-April, but part of me is scared I want to go there for the wrong reasons. The whole reason I even considered it in the first place was because I started to miss Texas after spring break at home, and it’s a good school in Texas with a Student Affairs program. I applied there for undergrad and might have even gone if, a) they had a journalism program, and, b) they gave me more money.

But even back in April I questioned the validity of giving up “well-known” programs in the North and Midwest for a “lesser-known” program back home. Is location a trade-off for prestige?

And now I’ve been hanging out with Aggies who I love dearly all summer. While having a Christian community that I already feel somewhat comfortable in there is an awesome pro, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to weigh that into my decision.

I want to pick my school for the right reasons, because I have prayed about it and God wants me there, but right now I feel like Satan is attacking me with lies about my motives that simply aren’t true.

“No, this is why you want to be out at A&M.”

And I feel like I have to keep reminding myself that I was leaning towards College Station before I even knew that the Aggies out here existed.

Which way do You want me to go?

In summary, I’m about to embark on God’s next great adventure for me, and I have no idea where He wants to take me, but I know I want Him to be the one to take me there. I pray that He shows me clearly where I should be this time next year, as clearly as He showed me Mizzou three years ago. I’m going to keep my options open and research all twenty-two schools, but I also pray that God would make that narrowing down process go quickly and smoothly. I pray that He protects me from Satan’s lies about my motives, reminds me of what I want and shows me what He wants for me in a grad program.

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