Sunday, April 27, 2008

Defining Moment #3 - College

So, after growing up in Juneau, at the age of 18 I said good-bye to my folks and friends, and flew south to Abilene, Texas, for college. People often ask me why I went so far from home. I knew I wanted to go to a Christian college. I considered several and received scholarship offers from three. But Abilene Christian College (ACC) was the one I had my heart set on. Over the years, a number of ACC students had come to Juneau, during the summertime, to work with the youth in the church. They were fun, dedicated young people and had a major influence on my decision to attend ACC.

Going to ACC defined my life in a number of ways:
  • I gained a new appreciation of the size and expanse of the church. Back home, I had been one of about four teens in a very small church. I confess to having had thoughts, at times, similar to Elijah, who believed he was the only faithful prophet left on earth! At ACC I was happily a part of 3000 students, from around the world, who shared a common faith.
  • I began to overcome my innate shyness. My college roommate, Chris, an out-going and high-spirited girl, greatly influenced me in this respect.
  • I grew in perseverance by tolerating obstacles to completing my degree: Obstacle 1 - The oppressive west Texas heat. (For the first two years, I lived on the third floor of a very old, brick dormitory (McKenzie) with no air conditioning. Coming from cold country, I didn't tolerate high temperatures well.) Obstacle 2 - Distance from home. (No trips home on weekends or short school breaks.) Obstacle 3 - Distance from campus (After getting married we moved to another town, 23 miles from Abilene, so I became a commuter.)
  • I went in without a higher education, and came out with one. Because of my degree, my self-confidence improved, and my opportunities in the work world were strengthened.
  • I met Dan and got married -- but we'll let that stand alone, as Defining Moment #4.

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