I remember not wanting to go to UNG. I remember praying, "Dear God, please no..." Why? Because for me it didn't feel like home in Dahlonega. They didn't have my major at the time and I chose it because it was close to home but it was over an hour away.
I chose because I had to. Or so I thought. God was leading me even though it didn't feel like it. At the time my Dad was in remission from brain cancer. I didn't just want to be close by, I NEEDED to be close.
So I chose where my older sister was. I chose a school that didn't have my major. I chose my family.
And then something happened. It took time and loads of questioning if I was at the right place, if I'd made the right decision to turn down Liberty University... It took an answer to prayer for me to see - I was in His plan, not mine.
I was going in, random roommate selection. I didn't know anyone going to UNG as a Freshman. Then after weeks and months of prayer God sent me my person. No, not a guy. Sheesh.... someday y'all.
He sent me my best friend and honest to goodness kindred spirit, Caitlin.
But things weren't home sailing from there. I knew it was right for then and tried to accept it and live in it.
However, I still felt out of place most of the time.
I blame a lot of that on the fact that my feet were in Dahlonega but my heart was at home. That's just where life was.
The day before my 19th birthday Dad had another test... and it wasn't what anyone wanted to hear.
Again I thought, "this couldn't be the plan..." and I prayed, "Dear God, please no!"
The cancer was back.
And I was devastated but I knew why God had led me only an hour away...
I knew where I needed to be and that was close to home.
I didn't get the "normal college experience", which for the record I never wanted anyway.
After Dad passed away, a little more than a week before Sophomore year, I knew I couldn't do this school thing anymore. Not right then at least. I had to leave. I just had to go.
So, I did the one thing he had really hoped I would, move to Orlando, FL and work at Walt Disney World.
I packed my bags for an adventure - one I'd hoped would be better than the nightmare we'd been living.
Eventually, I came home and it was time to go back to school. I went to another school for a semester... when I realized UNG was my home. By this time they had added Communication as a Bachelor of Arts degree but instead of heading back to my beautiful mountain home.... trust me those beauties stick with you... I went to Gainesville because that was where the Communication department was. Again, I was starting over.
The bonus though was that I got to live at home. Saving money and having time with family was just what my desperately grieving heart needed.
It wasn't the college fairy tale you see on TV. It wasn't what I had wanted. But it was His plan. I learned so many things in those five years about myself but mostly about God and who He has called me to be in Him.
I've seen His faithfulness daily.
I've seen Him pull me out of the darkest period of my life.
I watched Him use a not ideal situation and a nightmare.
I've seen Him call me multiple places, each with their own lessons and God moments.
He has pulled through each time.
He has always led.
If you are struggling with something today, know He is right here and that He is leading you. You might not be living your plan but He promises to never leave. Trust me, His presence IS everything when all seems to be falling apart.
I wouldn't trade my time at UNG for ANYTHING. Why? UNG-Gainesville became my college home! God blessed me with the best department. Where I knew my college professors and they invested in me. One even had to save me from a guy... lol that's a story for another blog post. But it became the college I had dreamed of and I got to live at home so my heart could heal in the best environment I knew.
God really does work things together as Romans 8:28 says.
This season was full of growing pains but isn't that where we learn to trust Him most?
So I wouldn't trade a single moment.
I wouldn't trade one second of Him saying, "Lean in, I got you."
I wouldn't trade a single tear as crazy as that sounds because He caught EVERY SINGLE ONE as Psalm 56:8 says!
Of course I try not to wish some things turned out different... especially Dad's time.
I still hate this fact though and I miss him everyday. I know now though that it was part of the plan. It was Dad's time, as young as he was, and as much as I wanted him to see me graduate and walk me down the aisle someday... but who am I to question?
In life I realize this now, who am I to say I have a better plan? If things had gone according to "my plan", I wouldn't have grown at all because I would have wanted it to be comfortable.
His ways truly are HIGHER.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best, "Trust in the Lord, lean NOT on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him and HE WILL direct your paths straight."
Not on my understanding...
Trust even when I don't understand.
Isn't that the definition of trust? Despite what is going on around us we press on, in the mission of here and now?
BECAUSE WE KNOW WHO IS WITH US!
We know the One, who works all things together FOR GOOD (Romans 8:28).
Acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord - that He has the best plan! Giving Him our plans and accepting whatever is His.
Come what may. These three words can be so hard to pray but trust me, (speaking to 2012 high school senior me) His will, WILL be the best adventure you never even knew you needed to become the woman He is using today.
If it all, even only means this, I am closer to Him than ever then ALL of this my dear friends somehow was worth it.
As the founder of LaceDevotion Ministries, Elizabeth Foil has a heart for sharing the Gospel and inspiring others to be on mission right where they are. If you are new to the LDM fam, we welcome you here today. Please look around and connect with us. If you have a heart for missions please make sure to message us! Trust Him in this thing called life, He is the Potter, we are the clay. Isaiah 64:8