“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”-C. S. Lewis
The first week of school is always an interesting time. With this season comes new teachers, new classmates, and at times—a new school. College, I’ve found, contains all of this and more.
As I walked through the glass doors of college last Tuesday, the realization came in full force that this was my first time in a secular environment. I had a Christian education all the way through school, so most of my interactions up until now have been with fellow believers. And, as much as I’ve joked about some of the interesting customs of Christian subculture (e.g. “testamints” are actually a thing), I’ve come to find that there really is something special about being surrounded by other believers.
Thankfully, no one has been hostile about my faith (I honestly thought they were going to confiscate my cross earrings on the first day), but it’s also common knowledge that faith is not a normal conversation topic. Knowing about all of the hip Christian singers and bands gets you virtually no brownie points from fellow classmates in college. For the first time, I’m faced with the challenge of being “In the world, but not of it”.
I’m still trying to figure out what this looks like in real life.
Nonetheless, I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve learned a lot over the course of high school and I believe that now God wants to teach me something new. He has each one of us in our current life situations for a reason. Even Jesus couldn’t stay in His hometown forever if He wanted to make an impact—He had to venture out in to the world around Him. In the words of an old Kelly Clarkson song “I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly. I’ll do what it takes until I touch the sky.” In order to fly, I must first jump, using my faith as wings to guide me through new and unfamiliar territory.
If you’re at a new school, a new work place, or like me, starting college for the first time, I want to encourage you to cling tightly to God and step into His will with courage and bravery. He has us where we are for a reason. If we had stayed in elementary school our whole lives, imagine how much we would have missed out on! We grow through new experiences, new people, and new places.
I don’t know how God’s going to use me in college or what this season will look like, but I trust that He’ll guide me through this process. I have officially decided to make Joshua 1:9 my “verse-of-the-year“.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I may be in a new stage of life, but I know that I’m not alone in it. Just because my school isn’t ‘Christian‘ doesn’t mean that God isn’t there. He’s with me in those very hallways, within the walls of each one of my classes. God may push us out of our comfort zone, but He will never leave us alone. He is our strength and our shield, making us warriors ready for anything that comes our way.
If God brings you to it, He’ll give you the strength to get through it—and thrive in the midst of it. If we take one day at a time, and trust God with every moment, we can rise to any occasion and grow in our faith.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:13-18.