Tears trickled down my face as I looked out across the neatly manicured campus. I really love this place, I thought to myself. How am I going to stay here?
It was the beginning of another semester, and once again I found myself wondering how I would meet the tuition deadline.
I began to ask the same questions I asked at the beginning of every semester: Is this really where you want me, God? Maybe I should help Mom and Daddy out by going to a school that doesn't cost as much.
"Hey, Amber!" My panicked thoughts were interrupted. I looked up to find Susan running barefoot through the grass.
"Are you OK?" she asked, noticing my tears.
"I'm really overwhelmed," I explained. "I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for school this semester."
She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a hug. "I know it's hard. I've had to deal with the same thing," she explained.
"I want to trust that God will provide," I said. "I mean, he has so far."
I told her about the scholarships and grants I had received and about my work-study job. I explained how money always seemed to come in just when I needed it.
"So why are you so worried?" she asked.
I couldn't really explain my anxiety to Susan that day. But looking back, I understand more clearly why I was fearful. I wasn't in control. I was in a position where I had done all I could do, and it wasn't enough. I still had several thousand dollars hanging over my head.
God did provide that semester, as he did every semester of my college career. And through the process, he taught me to trust him and not rely on my own efforts. Now, that didn't mean inaction on my part. I consistently looked for scholarship money. But ultimately, it was God who met my needs.
As you read this special issue, you'll find it full of financial aid facts and suggestions. I hope you'll use them as you search for ways to pay for college. But I also hope you'll keep this promise in mind: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).