Monday, September 13, 2010
My life at Liberty University!!!
Well as promised, it is time to talk about "The worlds most exciting university" (that's their slogan by the way, and I'm not going to lie…it was pretty exciting). How did I end up at LU? Well, I fully intended on going to Point Loma Nazarene in southern California but, being the slacker that I was in high school, I didn't apply until late in my senior year. They put me on a waiting list which left me unsure about my status at that school. I wanted to go to Point Loma because both of my older siblings had gone there, and really, because it was located on the ocean. I mean literally you step out of your dorm and there's the water:) Yes, this is a terrible reason for going to school but, I do love the ocean;) So, I was scrambling to figure things out and got even more nervous when everyone at Baptist seemed to had plans already. I had gotten something in the mail from LU (ok like 30 things) and had no idea who they were? They sent me a video about the campus and all I remember thinking was, "Wow, the girl in the video has 80's hair and mom jeans…they need to update this video". Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for 80's hair but…mom jeans? That's where I draw the line! By some miracle, my dad talked me into flying out to visit for "College for a Weekend". It is something LU offers that allows prospective students to visit the campus and see if they like it (you can stay in dorms, eat cafeteria food, go to classes/events). I had nothing better to at the time and it seemed like a long shot but, I went. It ended up that another girl (Sarah Koster) from Baptist was planning to visit as well so that made the trip more fun:)
First impression of LU? Hmm… well, we stayed in the dorms and slept on the floor in the someone's room. I must say, the girls we stayed with were totally not excited to have us in their room. They barely spoke to us and it was evident that they didn't want us there. We were going to rise above their negativity and have a good time though! The south was beautiful. I loved the mountains, trees, and the gorgeous sunsets most of all. There were things about Liberty that made me nervous, mostly the rules. I was still working through my faith at the time and all of the Christian music, and Christian people overwhelmed me a bit. In a weird way, I think the Lord started opening my eyes that weekend to the fact that I really wasn't living a healthy life in Him. I think the main thing I took from that weekend was that you can be Christian AND be fun/crazy. I know I was really supposed to leave thinking, "Wow, I'm excited about their academic programs" but, I didn't :)
By some divine act of God, I decided to apply to LU and got accepted. When it came time to leave I started to get hesitant. I was comfortable in Michigan, had a long time on again/off again boyfriend that I was leaving, and was really just nervous about the change. Deep down I was excited at the same time because I knew my life was going to change drastically. When I got to LU, it was like one big crazy party! The school is VERY social. I thrive in social settings so for the first few months, I just played. I know I went to classes at some point in there too! I was amazed at the amount of legit Christians there were at LU. I had my moments of missing home, I think I had left a bit of my heart in MI that first semester but slowly, my heart shifted down south.
By second semester (and after moving into a room with my Canadian buddy Renee Peckham, I was LOVING it). We hung out with some of the most amazing people (Kori K included) and I enjoyed my times playing volleyball at Smith Mountain Lake, driving around in Renee's tiny car with like 10 people piled in, dancing to Ricky Martin in our dorm room, and rollerblading at all hours of the night. I met tons of awesome guys that were my "friends"….it was a great way to view how Christian guys should treat a girl. We loved dorm 10 and spent most of our time with all of those crazy guys (to include Amber's future hubby Philip)! In an effort to maintain US diplomacy, I ended up dating a Canadian boy--my Canadian roommate Renee approved of course.
God started really working on my heart in that next year. It was then that I really started living out my Christianity (or trying to at least). I re-dedicated my life to God and tried (and failed many times) to live out my faith perfectly. Realizing it was impossible, I just took baby steps toward Christ. Each person at LU impacted me in that journey, and for that I am thankful.
I cannot mention LU without talking about 118B Watergate. That is the address of the town home I lived in my second year. In my first dorm (21-1) I met a group of girls that I just adored. It's weird how God works because I was in the prayer group of one of their best girlfriends. She passed away in a tragic accident and through that situation, my heart was inclined to each of them in a very special way. Long story short, they asked me to live with them in at Watergate when they lost a roommate.
Amber, Niki, and Kirsten….just saying their names together makes me smile because I love them so much. Our house was a joyful place that everyone wanted to visit (plus it had four hot chicks he, he). We did the craziest stuff there … laughed harder than anyone should … and learned from each other by each of our strengths/weaknesses. I could write a book about each of these girls but I will just say the first words that come to my mind about each of them: Amber-Gorgeous, Strong, Tenacious -- Niki-Gracious, Loving, Nurturing-- Kirsten-Joyful, Creative, Vibrant. I love those girls. Oh, and Kristin Fraga was an honorary member…she moved in after Niki/Kirsten moved out. I love that girl! I also loved our street. There were groups of our friends living up and down the road everywhere. I was like one big community. We would have dinner at each other's houses and steal toilet paper from each other. We had some amazing guys a couple houses down that we adored and even spent some fun spring breaks with. What a great community! *If you were on this street, please recall some of the following: traveling nativity scenes, temptation island, toilet papering, ODAAO!
Wait, so at this point you have not heard the name Josh Earls. Well, I didn't meet that boy until my junior year! Yes, he was a young laddy (totally robbed the cradle). Praise God that I didn't meet him until later in my college life because I wasn't ready for him yet:) I needed to struggle through my faith and relationships some more. God was sharpening me for him I believe. In fact, the week he introduced himself, I had literally told myself that I was NOT going to date ANYONE for a while because I really wanted to work on myself. If you read earlier blogs, you can see how we ended up meeting :) Alas, he captured my heart the second I laid eyes on him and rest is history. It's weird that so much of my college life was not involving Josh but we both were able to grow on our own before meeting one another---that was God plan!
Weird... now I'm married to an amazing man, have a lovely little girl and it has been well over 10 years since my college life! I am an old fart! Oh, and so are you if you are reading this and reminiscing:)
To sum it up: I LOVED LU! I must give that school props for introducing me to my smokin' hot hubby!