If I were to begin college again, I would do a lot of things differently. Let’s suspend reality and pretend for a minute that I knew for sure I wasn’t going to be a teacher going into college but that I still didn’t know I was called to be a youth minister. A journey into my imagination, if nothing else:
I would still decide to attend Saint Louis University and I would still be part of the Micah House program, because those were really pivotal things for me, and I wouldn’t change them.
I would, however, stick with the English major in its own, no education, and possibly a minor in theology or creative writing. I wouldn’t have to take 18 hours almost every semester, and I would be able to take classes I actually wanted to take (crazy, I know) rather than just a bunch of repetitive education courses. I would have gone farther with Spanish, something I wish I could speak even on a basic level.
I would be able to make room in my schedule to spend a semester abroad, and would hopefully go to El Salvador. I wouldn’t have to take summer classes unless I wanted to in order to be able to take more classes that genuinely interested me.
I would have had more time to get more deeply involved in something service-related without practicum and observations to worry about. I wouldn’t have to call principals every semester begging them to let me spend time every week in their schools. I would have done another extra-curricular and would have gotten to connect with more people, whether students or people I was serving.
Ceramics, guitar, piano, liberation theology, social work intro, and African-American Studies courses might have found a spot in my schedule at some point during my four years.
Sounds pretty good, right?
OK, these things aren’t life and death. I’m satisfied enough with my college decisions and I’m not angry with the way things turned out. I just wish I had had some better direction going into it, that I had realized earlier I didn’t really want to be a teacher, and that I had been able to make all those little things happen that I ended up missing out on.
Also, I trust in God’s timing. He had a plan when He waited until just before my senior year to show me His will for my life, and I am grateful for everything I learned before and everything I have learned since. It might have been easier to know from the beginning, but not nearly as educational and not nearly as challenging and therefore growth-inducing.
I might have been fumbling in the dark for a while, unsure of what I wanted to do and convincing myself I wanted a career that honestly brought me little joy. But because of this I met incredible people, learned a lot about how I view certain perspectives, and grew in innumerable ways. Sure, I wish I hadn’t been an education major, yet I really can’t imagine my life without that period, without that base. Regardless of its frustration, and even through the regret I feel over that decision, I trust that God had a plan in it.
I look back at my life and see times I have struggled and questioned His will, and though they were difficult at the time, I am continuously amazed to see how His hand was there and how those moments defined my life as it is today. It wasn’t always easy, but because of those difficult times, God has brought so much beauty and brokenness into my life. I may not be able to see it now, but I know that God has a plan in His timing.
Today I turn around
Stop running away from Him.
Today I listen
And run toward.