I grew up in a Christian home with a loving mother, father and older brother that loved and supported me no matter what. For as long as I can remember, the four of us and my Mamaw would attend church on Sundays, but never became deeply involved in other activities or bible studies there. I was baptized when I was 8 years old and had a love for the Lord.
As I continued to grow, my brother and I became very involved in our own activities, baseball for him and dance for me. Not only did I take dance class, I majored in dance at an arts elementary/middle school, competed with a performing arts group, and practically lived at the dance studio. Dance became the most important thing in my life and I had no complaints. My weekends would be spent in hours of rehearsals and traveling to dance competitions or baseball tournaments out of town. By the time Sunday rolled around each week, I was “too tired” or “had too much homework left to do” which would enable me to skip out on Sunday’s church service.
This pattern of putting God on the back burner continued throughout middle school, high school and into college. I would say that I was a Christian, but I really had no proof to show for it. I hadn’t been to church in years, except to an Easter or Christmas service. I had forgotten how to pray or even how to talk to God. It was during my freshman year of college that I discovered that something in my life was really missing.
My freshman year was definitely an interesting experience. I went from being a quiet girl who never partied to this young woman that I didn’t even recognize. I discovered my independence and freedom during this first year of college, as well as an interest in dating, alcohol, and staying up all night long. This became an unhealthy cycle in my life and ultimately was part of what led to me finding the Lord again.
Towards the end of my freshman year, I decided to transfer schools and head back home to the University of Kentucky. There were plenty of factors that influenced my decision: I didn’t like my previous school, I was changing my major, and I was diagnosed with an illness. However, in the back of my mind I knew there was something greater than me that was controlling my destiny and setting me on this new path.
In August 2012, I moved into an apartment with two friends from high school. They introduced me to their friends and Christian Student Fellowship. I decided to join a sorority and was blessed to receive 200 sisters on Bid Day. I quickly became involved in my sorority’s bible study and was surrounded by daughters in Christ that helped me find God’s love again. My sophomore year of college was a complete 180-degree turn from the previous year.
Looking back on the past few years of my life, it is apparent that God had this plan laid out for me all along and it was up to me to follow His lead. I have found comfort in God’s word and specifically in this verse. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.