This post is part 15 in a 15 week series sponsored byMommy's Piggy Tales that encourages women to record their youth.
I have really enjoyed linking up with Mommy's Piggy Tales to help motivate me to write down some of my childhood memories. Although the initial 15 posts are completed, I plan on sticking with this theme and revisiting some old photos and the memories that accompany them. Stay tuned for that!
My senior year was winding down and I knew that I had to make a decision about which college I was going to attend. It was a tradition at our school's graduation to announce where each graduate was attending college and their proclaimed major, and I had decided on neither. But one thing was for sure: I was NOT going to go to a strict Baptist college that would impose on my new found freedom.
My oldest brother had attended Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, WI and though I knew a fair amount of people there, it was the last place I wanted to go. My parents were big proponents of this particular school, because our old pastor was the president and many friends from my home town had moved up there to work for the school. It was only a 3 1/2 hour drive away, which made for easy weekends at home and it was so familiar it didn't feel like moving away at all.
Even though I could be described by most people as a "good girl," my heart was not interested in continuing in the legalism I felt I was reared in at my home church. I wasn't overtly rebellious, but I thought I knew what was best for me and I was confident in my own relationship with the Lord that I could handle attending a less strict school. My first pick was a Southern Baptist university in Missouri, a comfortable 8 hour drive away. I knew I would be rid of dress codes and rules about movies and the like at this school, all the while still attending a "safe" Christian school. My parents weren't crazy about the idea, but agreed to take me to a prospective student weekend.
We arrived on campus a few hours before the official events started and as we were discussing what we should do in the meantime, the girl whose room I was scheduled to stay in happened upon us. She volunteered to show me around while my parents went back to the hotel. They reluctantly left me alone to experience college first hand.
The events that occurred over the next 3 hours were divinely inspired by my sovereign Savior to show me His will, I believe. In those short hours alone with my guide and her friend, I heard about a potential sexual assault case against a male dorm supervisor, saw flippant posters for a Bible study to talk about the what the "hype" was with Jesus and heard about how to get around most of the rules the college had.
By the time we went to eat dinner, the scheduled events still hadn't begun, but I knew I was finished. I was sick to my stomach, physically and emotionally battling with the Holy Spirit as he spoke to my heart. I knew I was not strong enough for an environment like this. I knew I would be too weak to battle these types of issues. I knew where I was supposed to go, but I had to eat a lot of crow to admit it.
I tearfully apologized to my hosts (if only they knew how their conversation turned me away from their school!) and called my parents to come pick me up. We returned to the hotel and I admitted my struggle. I submitted to attending good ole MBBC and although the atmosphere there would be difficult for me in the coming years and a trial in different ways, I knew at that moment it was where I was supposed to be. And by God's grace, I made it through 5 years of ankle length skirts in sub-zero weather, draconian dating rules, and a bit of legalism, and by God's grace, I am a stronger believer because of it.