My junior year was a good one, despite David’s knee injury. We were together all the time, I was finally taking classes for my major, and I met one of my very best friends.
Emilee was a transfer student from Dalton State College and she was in my first class junior year. As we waited outside the door, I decided to say hello. We ended up sitting together, and pretty much never stopped (even when David was in one of our classes, I sat with Emilee and he sat behind us).
I loved living on campus. I felt like a “real college student” even though you are obviously a real college student if you don’t live on campus. I got a job working in the BCM office for D Rol (best job ever!), and I also got paid for being a Yearbook Editor and SRS tour guide. It was great.
That December, we went back to Covington, KY, for the BCM mission trip. I was so excited to go back because of what an amazing time I’d had the previous year. On our free night, we went back to the big Barnes & Noble and David found the book I’d read to the little boy and bought it. Also, it snowed!! We also got to meet this precious little lady, Mrs. Beach, that made tons of dolls for children. It was so neat to meet her and see how much work she put in to something that would be going to strangers. She just wanted to make sure all the kids had gifts on Christmas.
Spending the holiday season on a mission trip is so humbling and rewarding. There is honestly nothing better than sharing Christ with people who need it so badly, especially when you can provide those people with food and gifts during the holidays.
I remember when the lady that cooked for us every day had a fire in her home. Derek, Ashleigh, and I got to go and help clean up her house, sharing the love of Christ with her just like she was doing for us every day when she provided us with meals. It felt so good to help.
We also played a lot of Mafia again, which was, of course, the best. I even got to be the Mafia with the Campus Ministries Intern, Erin, and we won! It was so awesome, but I still feel bad about how mad Sarah was at me when she found out (I love you, Sarah; thanks for defending me!).
After Covington but before the next semester started, David and I went on a prayer retreat for BCM. It was an amazing couple of days, and I learned so much about the power of prayer. I’ve always been a little scared of praying out loud and it helped me get over that fear. It was an amazing experience, and, when it was all said and done, David and I both felt God telling us we should do summer missions.
I was very nervous about this calling, mostly because I’d only ever gone on two mission trips to the same place, for one week each. Who knew where God would send me? And for how long? But I knew this was something God was telling me to do, so I decided to apply and let God place me where I was supposed to go.
I try to grow closer to God every single day, but, even so, I didn’t feel like I was that great of a Christian. I have a hard time reading my Bible or remembering to have a quiet time and I usually pray right before bed and then fall asleep in the middle of it. I tried really hard but I always felt like I was falling short, which, in my mind, meant God couldn’t possibly send me anywhere crazy, like Asia or something.
When we got back to Shorter for the semester to start, we were greeted with a huge snowstorm, aptly named “Snowpocalypse.” Instead of classes starting, we all hung out in our dorm room, making our way through all three extended editions of Lord of the Rings. Snow days are great, but, after a week, we were all ready to actually get out and live our lives again.
Once classes were in full swing, I knew it was going to be a tough semester. I was excited about working on my major, but it was hard! I had so much homework, feeling like I couldn’t breathe sometimes from the stress.
One night in March, David, Emilee, and I were all in the Mac Lab working on homework. I had a paper due, probably the next day, that I was just in no mood to work on. I had recently discovered the amazingness that is
Photo Booth, so, instead of working, I started taking some really good pictures of myself.
Long story short, David didn’t find my procrastination amusing, and we had a slightly intense fight (we rarely fought and definitely not in front of other people, so this was a big deal). I was mad that he wouldn’t take another picture with me, and he was mad that I was being “irresponsible with my time.” I decided to go the angry-silent-treatment route, which actually worked well for all of us because I finally made some headway on my paper and stopped distracting Emilee and David enough that they could also get some work done.
They both eventually went back to their dorm rooms, leaving me alone in the computer lab. I finished my paper and then took a cat nap on the couch in the Yearbook Office before my class that was in about thirty minutes. It was a rough night, full of tension, stress, and no sleep, but my sweet friend Jennifer did drop by and bring me coffee before my first class, so that was nice.
I’m pretty sure after some sleep and a shower, David and I were fine. These moments happened a lot that semester, though, because of my extreme stress. I had a full load of major-related classes as well as a really tough Biology class and lab, and there were days where pulling my hair out would have been the best way to cope. But, like all tough situations, they eventually come to an end, and then we had our summer to look forward to. After the last summer, spending it so far apart in Ethiopia and Europe, I hoped we would never have to do that again, but it looked like God had other plans for us.