March 07, 2007

Defining

This post from Elsie's blog has had me thinking. The question

"Can you name one moment in your life that has defined you? How/Why?"

I've been thinking about it for a couple days. There are 2 distinct ones that always stand out to me.

#1 A girl in my church gave me a scholarship to a college that I wasn't even considering. It wasn't even on my radar. After I got the scholarship (which wasn't huge, but significant), my parents made me go and try it out. It was a good school and not at all a bad choice, but I was terrified. I was so insecure and shy in school. REALLY shy. The thought of going to a place where I didn't know anyone and staying in a dorm room with girls I had never met made me want to throw up. But I went. I think that weekend changed the path that my life would take. I honestly don't think that I would be the person I am today without that weekend and the people I met. That place instantly felt like home. Isn't that the coolest feeling? A place you have never been, but you could swear that you were there last week. God was there waiting for me. I had a fantastic weekend and left after giving the girls I had stayed with a big hug and a huge thank you. Went home, filled out my application and prayed that I would get accepted even though I just knew that that was there I was supposed to be.
The next 4 years were some of my favorite in my entire life. I met my best friends. They helped me grow up, laugh and just become who I am today. I love them just like they were my sisters by blood. They are constantly in my thoughts and on my heart. You know who you are girls!
I found classes and professors that taught me more than just school learnin'. I did projects and learned to develop pictures in a dark room. I edited videos, studied musicals, tried to figure out life in Philosphy, dove into the Old Testement, did hours of praise and worship at Wednesday night campus church. I was exposed to amazing speakers and bands and pastors.
I became independent. Had my first apartment, paid rent, learned to conserve electricity and drove my blue Sunbird. I lived on a 20 hour a week job salary at J Crew's catalog store. I learned to manage my time and my time became valuable.
My graduation day was one of the proudest of my life. I couldn't stop smiling. It was like God was showing me in a slideshow in my mind all these blessings that I had been given over the past 4 years. That diploma, where ever it may be now, is so much more than academic achievement. It was like being recongnized for growing up. It represented all my memories and lessons in life learned.
But the best part, the absolute best part, was that I truly began to understand who God was. I was challenged in 100's of different ways to explore and learn and find out who God was. He became real to me. He wasn't just the God I had known growing up (and those years were important too to get me to the next level), but He was alive, next to me, loving me, guiding me. I was put in a place that constantly challenged me and made me want to grow. My friends were girls who wanted the same things. We had long discussion about life and scripture and who GOd was. It was like a drug that I couldn't get enough of, this constant search for God, and I when I left I thought I would never find it again. (how stupid was that?!! Like God is confined to that one place in this world. I never said I learned everything...) But knowing that I wanted to follow where God was leading, I had faith that there was more amazing things in life to come.

That place changed my life. I am the person I am today because of it. That little school in Lynchburg. Liberty University. It holds a dear place in my heart.

And there is a #2, but I'll save that for another time...

2 comments:

stephanie said...

look at all the libery love :) you could be a tv commercial for that place :) you had me tearing up over here! :) lol! i worked in the recruiting dept- remember? that was more powerful than anything i ever told anyone on the phone :)

i think i've had about 500 defining moments!!!! good grief i'm sooooo radically different than i ever thought i would be growing up and so many things made me this way i would really be misrepresenting my life if i only picked one.

what a GREAT topic. i'll email you :)

love the shameless liberty plug :) i agree with you!

Anonymous said...

Liberty was a pretty huge turning point in my life, too. Sometimes in hindsight i'm surprised i wanted to go there so badly.

I saw your parents yesterday at the awana games. that was fun. i didn't expect to see them there.

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