To those of you who asked me how wonderful college was when I began classes at the University of Tennessee, I'm sorry I lied to you. I probably smiled and said "good" or "it's different" just like when someone asks how you're doing and you're never honest.
I would walk in to class, sit, take notes, and leave. I might smile at someone, or make small talk when walking the hallways. But for a while I went home every day in a slight depression. I was talking to a guy in my class who said he grew up going to a small private school with a lot of "goody two shoes" and in your face Christians. Him sharing this with me the first couple weeks of starting college opened my eyes to how crucial it is to take advantage of every moment we have to make a difference for the glory of God.
How are you supposed to make a difference for the Kingdom if people don't even notice you?
This guy didn't see how I lived or talked. I sat in the back row and kept to my phone. I was Jonah who had ran in the opposite direction from where God wanted me. It was that day in the belly of my own whale that I prayed to allow God to open doors and opportunities as I vowed to try to be more than a back row Baptist.
"You threw me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the current overcame me. All Your breakers and Your billows swept over me. but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation is from the Lord!"
And just like Jonah I was spat out from the mouth of my great fish. I am trying to look at those surrounding with eyes of service and try to find opportunities to care for people. I was invited to join a bible study that's led and attended by students on campus, found ways to encourage others biblically without beating religion into them, and just started loving people.
I've learned people don't want you to be their mom, preacher, or Dr. Phil. They just want you to care.
So whether it's driving someone to their dorm after class or inviting them to go to lunch with you, God can use the smallest things to make great impacts.
How's college? It really is wonderful and I'm in a good balance with classes and work, but I know that's not the only reason I'm there.
Vols help Vols by showing them Jesus.
Abbey Bolton, Writer & Event Planning Intern. She loves the Tennessee Volunteers, Jesus and Star Wars (not necessarily in that order). Every conversation you have with this girl is meaningful and she is a light to everyone who comes near her. Rebecca met Abbey in 2013 when she stumbled upon being her Disciple Now leader at an event in Knoxville while she was still in high school. It is an honor to have her on our team helping us plan our next upcoming events as well as contribute to the blog monthly!