A concerned friend: "You're going where? Don't you know it's cold there?"
Me: "Yes, I'll make sure to take lots of sweaters."
Another concerned friend: "Aren't you afraid you'll miss home, get lonely, and regret your decision?"
Me (sighing heavily): "Honestly, I know what I'm doing … "
My friends and I were sitting around talking about our plans for college in the fall. To say the least, my friends were puzzled by my desire to attend a school that was a 15-hour drive from home.
That discussion wasn't the last of its kind, either. Whenever I mentioned leaving Colorado to attend St. Olaf College in Minnesota, they questioned my decision.
None of my friends were going far from home, let alone 15 hours away. Because of their disbelief, I started to question myself.
Was I really ready for this?
I couldn't come home if my roommate hated me. Would I end up holed up in the library on weekends while everyone else went home to hang out with high school friends? I wondered about how I'd spend breaks. I was suddenly afraid that everyone at home would forget about me.
What was I thinking?
As I examined my college choice more closely, though, I saw God's hand more and more. On a combination college visit and summer vacation, God had taken my family safely through Minnesota on one of the most enjoyable vacations of my life. I'd clicked immediately with my admissions counselors. God also allowed me to meet some incredible Christian students. Most surprising of all, he had provided the exact amount I needed in scholarships! As I dealt with my own doubts, I found reassurance in Proverbs 20:24 (NLT): "How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps."
Yes, there were many times I would feel unsure about my choice that summer before I left for college. And there were lots of times I would feel the pressure to do what my friends thought was best for me. But I would remind myself that this choice wasn't about my friends. It was about what I believed was God's clear plan for me. It was about what he wanted for my life. He had not only placed my feet on this path, but had led me every step of the way. Even more, he would guide me into the future with his perfect wisdom: "The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives" (Psalm 37:23, NLT).
Now that I'm in my senior year of college, I am more convinced than ever that God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought me here. I've learned so much. And I have really grown in my walk with God.
Oh, there are still those times my friends tease me about my college choice:
"Don't freeze up there in the tundra!"
My standard response (with a smile): "Hey, it's not too bad…if you wear two sweaters."