Hello everyone! Here is the next post in my three-part series!
This is kind of a long post, so warning in advance!
Thank you to everyone who gave me such positive feedback on my last post! I am very happy that people enjoy reading what I am writing. 🙂
This is number two of three if you missed my last post you can click on the tab Non-story posts or go to my main page to find it there. This is a three-part series that will cover the last five years of my life.
The first post was about my adventures heading to college and starting.
The second part (this post) covers what happened while I was in college, both CNCC and BBC.
The third part will be what is going on right now in my life.
These stories are going to be open and honest ones from me. This means that my stories might be a bit depressing and sad at points, so if you are a family member of mine reading this or a close friend who has not heard these stories, I am sorry I never told you in person. Know that this has been a long growth period for me to even get to the point where I can write about my life without feeling like I am unworthy to do so.
Also, know that I am extremely excited to share these stories, and if my personal stories are not for you, don’t worry! I will soon be posting more of my fiction writing on this site.
Community College Begins:
When we left off in my last post, I mentioned that I had gone to community college in my home town to receive my associate’s degree in English. I also mentioned that it was at community college that I changed my focus from Creative Writing to English as a degree focus.
Overall, I did not have any major realization or life change which brought about my change of degree. It came down to a conversation I had with someone (who I no longer can remember who it was now, so if you are reading this, thank you!) who told me that English degrees are more versatile and it is easier to get a job with them if you need to teach English in the future.
So that made my decision on what my associate’s degree was going to focus on.
To be honest, I do not remember a lot from my first year at community college. I know that I enjoyed my classes and I did a lot of extracurricular work with the student leadership and my honors society, but an event that changed up my life entirely happened during my second year of community college and has made my memories fuzzy.
!!!! Warning to those who do not want to read about divorce, you can skip this next paragraph and continue from there without missing out on the rest of my story. I wanted to warn you, in case this subject is a painful one for you to read. !!!!
The event which has made my memories fuzzy was, near the end of my last semester of community college, my parents divorced, and my entire world sort of falling apart. I spent more and more time at the school as I tried to avoid being home where everything hurt. I threw myself into my school work, trying as hard as I could to pass every class with an A. I became angry. Very angry at the world and everything else. Nothing I did was taking away that anger, no matter what I did. And once again my life I found myself focusing on a cycle. This cycle was, go to school, stay at school as long as possible, go home and suppress emotions, homework, sleep, and then start again.
This change in my life caused me to begin to focus on what I believed in and why I believed it. One of the last classes I took at community college was a philosophy class and it was within this class that I became frustrated with myself because I felt I was not able to explain what I believed in. We had an assignment where we gave a presentation about whether we could prove God existed or not, and I knew that if I did not go first, there was no way I could defend what I wanted to say if someone questioned my speech after hearing someone else’s compared to mine.
This upset me, and I decided that after I finished community college, I would find a Bible college to enroll in to fix this problem.
But not BBC, I was under no circumstances going to go to Boise Bible College.
I stated this to God, to my family, to anyone else who would listen. I would not go to BBC.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, God seems to like taking my challenges I present Him and turning them on their head.
The start of BBC:
Why was I so against going to BBC? Well, there were a few reasons, first off, I had gone to their high school Preview “see the school day” almost every year from my middle school to high school years, and not once had I wanted to attend the school. I did not like the location, the Idaho driving, the chairs at the school, etc. But to be fully honest, I think deep down I knew I was supposed to go there someday, but I did not want to admit it or even bring myself to think about it.
So when I made up my mind to find a Bible college to attend, I looked everywhere else but BBC. Yet, none of the other schools seemed to have the price range I was looking for, nor the specific classes to achieve the goal I wanted, which was to understand what I believed.
Then came the fateful Sunday when a representative from another Bible college (which was my top choice for a Bible college) came to my church and talked. While listening to him talk about the college he was from, I realized that I did not like his college either. And after finding out that BBC was going to be affordable for me, I finally decided to give BBC a chance.
But, I was still not happy about my decision, and God was slowly shoving me towards a direction I was not happy about. Also, within all of this planning for Bible College, I still wanted to attend school at the University of Hawaii and get my Bachelor’s in Creative Writing.
Now the next part of my journey towards BBC gets kind of confusing, because at the beginning and what finally made up my mind about why I would attend school there, was because they offered a one-year Bible college certificate. Which was perfect for what I wanted to do. I would go to Bible college for one year, learn all I wanted to learn, and then go to Hawaii to continue, what I thought at the time was God’s plan for me, to get my degree in Creative Writing. Yet, when I applied for and was accepted by BBC, I found out that to get financial aid, I would need to declare a degree program.
By this time, the money I had earned at Walmart was almost gone and I was going to need loans. So, begrudgingly, I declared that I would work towards a degree in Christian Leadership which would take about two years to obtain. (Which took me about three years because later I spaced it out by taking fewer credits.)
I was certain I would only be there for a year; that was it. I was not going to be there any longer than I needed to because I was going to follow the direction God gave me through that Facebook ad and get a degree in Creative Writing no matter what.
God must have chuckled a bit at my stubbornness and my dedication to that ad, because I ended up as I stated above, staying at BBC for three years and finishing my Christian Leadership degree.
The Change of Heart:
There were three big reasons which finally changed my mind about why I was not going to go to Hawaii and why I decided to stay at BBC.
The first was friendship. At BBC, I found friends who walked with me through all the fallout of my emotions due to the hardships I had experienced in my family and personal life. Never before had I had not just one friend, but many who were willing to sit and listen to me and care for me. This began to mend my heart on a friend level and teach me how to be a better friend myself.
The second was I realized that just one year at BBC was not going to teach me enough. There was so much I did not know or understand about Christianity! I knew if I was going to fulfill my first goal of learning more about what I believed, I would need to stay longer.
But the final and strongest reason came with the realization about how my relationship with Jesus needs to change. I needed to change.
This hit me hard. Like I said in my first post, I thought I had the whole “Christian” thing figured out. I was baptized, I believed, heck, now I was even going to Bible College, which should be like spiritual brownie points for me, right?
How wrong I was.
My change started while I was in a class called Survey of Bible Doctrine, studying Baptism. Now, there are a lot of different opinions on why Christians should only be baptized only once and how. This is what I was studying and what I was writing my final paper on. As I studied, I realized more and more that what baptism seemed to be in the Bible, compared to what I had done as a child were very different things. The Bible, especially in Acts, talked about how people chose to follow Christ and be baptized and they did so excitedly! I felt so distraught that my baptism seemed like I had not chosen to follow Christ, but rather just did it because others said I should. I also was not ever super excited to be a Christian, it was just kind of what life was for me. Nothing more.
Was my whole faith-based other people’s choices and not mine? Did I even care that I had been baptized?
What if I chose to be rebaptized right now? Because I wanted to, because I wanted that statement that I was going to follow Christ for the rest of my life?
Could I do that?
Would God be mad at me if I got baptized again?
If I chose to be once again baptized, would God reject me when I die?
These questions swam in my mind for weeks. I frantically studied not only for my class paper, but also for my own soul.
This was the first time in my life I questioned what actions I had taken/not taken to become a Christian and why they had happened.
Finally, I hit a three-day stretch where I was so stressed, worried, and emotionally drained by these questions concerning my soul I could not sleep.
All I could do was cry out to God again and again.
I knew what other Christians believed about my questions, I had read the Bible, studied theologians, both alive and dead, but still, I was finding no answer.
At the end of the three days, I was sitting in my bed crying, exhausted both mentally and physically.
And that’s when I heard it.
The voice which had spoken to me in the shower. The voice I thought I would never hear again until I die, said one thing, “Baptized or rebaptized, both require you to dedicate your life to me. Why worry?”
At that moment, I realized that I was going to be rebaptized. Not because I thought my first baptism did not count or that I was needed to rewash off sins. But because I wanted to stand there in front of others and say “Yes. I have chosen this path. This is what I am going to do for the rest of my life.”
Not because of others, not because I grew up that way, but because as of that moment I wanted nothing more than to follow Jesus till the end.
So a few weeks later, during Spring Break, I was baptized for what I consider my official baptism because it was the day I took an official stand on what I believed and who I believed in.
This was the third and final decision which changed my mind about leaving BBC after a year. I realized that I needed to know even more about what I believed now because I had finally decided to take a stand.
While typing this section up, I realized how often I have been thick-headed to God, but He still keeps guiding me and helping me.
Thank you for reading this long segment! Part three will be out soon!