Part 2: In which life happens to me, instead of the other way around.
In high school, I didn’t think about college much. I mean, I knew I was gonna go – and without question I planned on attending a Christian school. I don’t really know why this was, and I guess I don’t question it; it was instinctive. I think it was always in my heart to pursue something purpose driven, specifically as it relates to my faith.
My senior year of high school I was accepted into a program at Bethel University where I could begin college as a high school student, fully funded by the state of Minnesota. So like the child I was, I decided to only take classes part time. I didn’t take full advantage of the program because I wasn’t ready to be “done” with high school. Instead of leaping ahead, I probably quasi wasted my senior year. Not to mention the money I could have saved….
And where did I want to go to College? Wheaton. Was I accepted? No. Let’s just go ahead and mark this as disappointment numero uno. I fully believe I could have done well at that school, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t in “God’s plan” for me. I ended up back at Bethel, pretty much by default.
The best class I took was taught by our campus pastor. It was called “Foundations of Ministry” and the thing I really took away from the class was that effectiveness in ministry is found in our vocation (calling) and not simply in our Vocation (job). I knew I wanted to serve God and serve people; I didn’t feel called to be a pastor. This class and professor were the first glimpses I had of wanting to work in campus ministry.
Bethel was a good school, but again I think I didn’t really take advantage of what could have been. I lived at home. I practically continued the life I’d been living before college: same job, same friends, same youth group (as a leader, of course), same expectations. I didn’t do any study abroad. I didn’t pursue theatre because being a youth leader wouldn’t allow time for it. I didn’t do an internship because it wasn’t required by my degree program. And I studied Bible and Theology because I loved God and I wanted to serve him, but ultimately, I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life.
The one thing I did do? Master’s Commission: A 9 month discipleship program that brought me to Texas. I took a year off of college to be in this program, and when I finally finished college a year later? Wild horses couldn’t have kept me from coming back. Whatever I was going to do, it was going to be in Texas. And that’s where the next part of my story begins…