How God Led Me to the Right College | Catherine Doolittle

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11

This verse is so important and so true. However, I know that it can sometimes be really hard to trust the Lord and know that He is in control, especially when making big decisions. For me, figuring out where I was going to go to college was one of these times. 2018-2019 was my senior year of high school, and I absolutely loved it! However, throughout that whole year I was filling out college applications, scholarship applications, talking to colleges, etc.

(I’m sure you all know the feeling).

As the deadline to decide where I was going to college drew closer and closer, I still didn’t know where I was going to college and what the Lord’s plan was for me. This was hard for me because I’m the type of person who likes to know what the plan is and every detail of it. However, I kept praying about it and talking to my parents about it. Eventually, we got to where the deadline was a couple of days away and I ​still didn’t know where I was going to college. We had been talking to Berry College a lot about finances (because it’s pretty expensive, and I have 3 other siblings, one who was in college at the time and 2 who are in private school). However, Berry was unable to offer us any more money than they already had, and at that point, I was unsure what to do.

I kept feeling like the Lord wanted me at Berry but we were unable to afford it. I even went back to the college that was my second choice and toured again. I loved it and could have seen myself going there, but I still didn’t feel a peace about it and kept feeling like the Lord wanted me at Berry. This was really stressful for me - I was really nervous and it made me upset and made me freak out a little. Finally, on a Thursday night a couple of days before the deadline, I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to go to Berry please provide a way.”

The ​next morning at school, my dad called me and told me that a financial way (that we didn’t expect at all) had been provided! This was really one of the most clear answered prayers I’d ever seen in my life! I ​knew the Lord was leading me to Berry-it was so obvious in how He answered that prayer and provided the money, and I’m so thankful for the huge blessing that that was! After being at Berry a year, I know that is where He wanted me to be, and He’s brought in some really great friendships and has grown me a lot.

One of the biggest things the Lord taught me (and is still teaching me) through this is that ​He will lead us and guide us in His will for us. He is sovereign and in control, and He will show us His plan in His timing! Whatever stage of life you are in, this is always true. I think its sometimes one of the hardest things to rest in but also one of the most comforting truths. I know that it can be really hard to wait on the Lord’s timing, but it is so worth it! Psalm 25:8-9 says, “​Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way.​ ​He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.”

​Someone once told me that the Lord speaks a lot through peace, and I think that is so true. If you’re in the place where I was right before graduation, or even in another stage of life, I would encourage you to continually lift up your concerns to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to lead you, and ask Him to give you peace about His will, and then ​rest in that! A friend also told me recently that she had started praying for the Lord to grow her trust, and I would encourage you to do that as well!

Not just praying for the Lord to reveal His will, but also for Him to grow your trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,“​Trust in the Lord with all your heart,​ ​and do not lean on your own understanding.​ ​In all your ways acknowledge him,​ ​and He will make straight your paths.”

We won’t always understand the Lord’s timing or what He is doing, but even in that, we are called to trust Him.

He will direct our paths. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans His way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” The Lord is ​so faithful, and He doesn’t leave us alone to figure it out by ourselves. He walks with us every step of the way and guides our steps.

He really has such good plans for us (like Jeremiah 29:11 talks about). It may not always make sense to us, but that is okay.

And God may not always answer our prayers like we think He will-but that is okay, because His plans are so much greater than ours.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” The Lord knows so much better than we do, and we can trust Him and rest in the truth that ​our Father is good, sovereign, and has given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

Catherine will be a Sophomore at Berry College this Fall. She loves writing to encourage others in their walk with Christ. She also loves spending time with friends and family, playing piano, singing, and watching movies. "The Lord saved me when I was 9-years old and He has been so faithful throughout my life and everything good that I am and have come from Him!"

Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:8, which says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

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