I remember coming into APU and wondering where I would be at spiritually if I went here. (After all, I did give up my dream of moving to New York City and attending an Art School in favor of a Christian University that I thought I would really grow spiritually in.) I remember recently laughing at how I used to say I would NEVER in a million years go to a school that was Christian, I was so used to attending secular schools and being the odd one out. Now, I can NEVER imagine myself attending a university that is not APU, that does not uphold Christian values and morals.
This past year and a half of being at APU I really have experienced Jesus in new ways (to say the least). If you want to send me an email, a comment, or anything like that, I would love to expand on other things God has shown me. This blog doesn’t even cover near a tenth of it.
I have experienced Jesus through community and relationships. I would be lying if I gave the impression that everyone here has it all together, that everyone is on the straight and narrow path, and that everyone is walking the perfect Christian walk. It would be the farthest thing from the truth. But there ARE most definitely some of the most SOLID, faithful followers of Christ here. I have never felt so encouraged and loved then I feel on this campus daily. I used to have a rather short list of people that I would go to whenever I needed someone, a short list of people I trust and respect with everything inside of me. Now the list has grown to be increasingly long. When I need someone, I struggle with the thought of who to call first, there are just honestly too many options.
I have become ever so present of this world, the issues in it, and how blessed I am to be where I am at. I used to seek thankfulness and admire people that saw the glass half full. Now I live thankfulness and my glass is always overflowing. Through being able to serve in Tanzania this past summer for 2 months specifically, I have viewed life so differently then before. Life is so beautiful. Also, through classes I am taking right now I am learning and seeking the bigger picture.
Jesus has taught me patience and what it looks like to be fully consumed in HIM. To be honest, the whole ‘Ring by Spring’ philosophy is very much true. There are a lot of people in long-term relationships and a plethora of engaged and married upperclassman. However, I think that taking each day moment by moment is really important to me and has really been something God has shown to me. I think a fair amount of people (even me sometimes) get caught up the future, so much so that they forget how privileged we are to be right where we are at.
I have learned what leadership looks like in my life and how important it is to me. (God is still teaching me a lot on that as well.) God has shown me what obedience looks like, what it feels like to rely on Him 100% and have no comfort to fall back on except Him. There have been moments of breaking down and feeling like I am on top of the world, God has been in the midst of all of those.
I have found joy in brokenness. I have realized that Christ really does use the most unworthy, the weakest of us to glorify Him and bring Heaven down on this Earth. I have sought and found Fruits of the Spirit that I never thought were possible to see outpouring in my life. I have seen Christ change my heart in ways that only can be possible from the God of the Universe. I have seen the church in the most beautiful form, and it did not take place in a typical church building as one might expect. I have experienced God every single day, and I think that before coming here I could not exactly say that. God’s beauty is so evident here. I truly feel that there is no better place to be right now in my life than this place I attend school and live. How lucky am I?
My life is so different, my faith is so different, from where I was before I came here. I had no idea all this would happen to the extent that it has. My walk with God is so much more intimate, God is so much more personal. I am now intentionally reading the Bible so much more, I yearn for it and nothing fills me like God’s Word does.
I think that there is such beauty and honesty in people’s walks with God at APU. So many incredible people with so many different stories. I can’t explain the encouragement I have found in peers, professors, and leaders of mine here.
But I encourage you to not wait until you step foot in college to be where you want to be with God. Meet God where you are at, seek God day to day, and when you finally set foot at APU take that for what it is as well. God is just as real here as He is where you are at.
This is an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote during my senior year of high school. (Incase you were wondering, the fire has definitely kept growing. Praise God for this answered prayer!)