my baylor story
I finished my last class at Baylor University today. On May 13th, 2017, I will graduate with a BA in Communication Studies with a minor in Religion. Yes, this is seriously exciting and I am so honored to have received my education from this amazing university. I’d love to share a little bit of my story and some of you may have heard it:
My senior year of high school I was aware that my college education would have to be taken care of by me on the financial side of things. Already feeling a bit discouraged, I stepped onto Baylor’s campus for the first time.
If you’ve ever been to Baylor, you know and recognize that there is just something different about it. I am admittedly biased, but the students, professors, and campus are just a tier above. I have literally never had a bad professor my entire time here and I can count on one hand the times my class exceeded 25 students. I’ve had several teachers pray over me before tests and invite me into their home for dinner with their family. I’ve been a part of leadership on a full-scale student led production as well as involved in KXA, the most Christ-centered group of girls I’ve ever seen. These are little things and definitely not an exhaustive list of what makes Baylor special, but they are important.
My mom and I sat in the Ferrell Center on preview day and I heard Ken Starrstand up on the stage and say, “I believe each and every one of you has eternal value.”
At the time, he was president of the university. I fell in love with Baylor that day, and for some reason I knew I was going to go there, somehow.
Going home was bittersweet. On one hand, I felt like I had found my home. On the other, my home was approximately $50,000 a year. This story is not about money, it’s not even a specific Baylor endorsement. This story is about God’s sovereignty over all things, no matter the circumstance or obstacle. In this instance, it just happened to be a dollar sign.
Senior year of high school was really difficult, but Baylor at the end of the finish line kept me going. I got selfish about it, that nothing was going to stand in MY way. I applied single-choice early action to Baylor and got accepted. I worked for the $300 down payment. I filled out scholarship after scholarship. Over 50 scholarships.
I wish I was exaggerating. I was working completely on my own strength and merit, and I was exhausted. Entering into the spring semester of my senior year, rejection after rejection came through. I had gotten ONE of those scholarships. One of them. I was so thankful for that one, but I only had a quarter of my tuition covered by February.
It seemed like I had nothing, Baylor became a light in my life that at this point seemed unattainable. I had done everything that I could. Losing all of my pride, I began to fill out the Lonestar Community College application, which meant staying at home for the next couple years. I put all of my own desires on a plate and handed it to God, that it was in his hands. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done, complete surrender of my life and future. I want to say that it was God, but I kept feeling this subtle push to keep pursuing Baylor. I really don’t know if it was stupidity or faith; or maybe they overlapped for the second half of my senior year.
I rode up to orientation with a friend (shout out to Haley), I’m sure my parents thought I was nuts. I walked around campus and signed up for classes, and honestly, I want to say it was my confidence in Christ, but I have no idea. I signed up for Line Camp, and WENT. I have a very distinct memory of a part of Line Camp where we rode on a bus up to Independence where the original Baylor campus is. They gave us our freshman jerseys and told us to think about all that brought us there – which is a pretty heavy story for me. But regardless, I stood there, jersey over my shoulder, crying and laughing at myself, staring at those dang Baylor columns, thinking about how I probably wasn’t even going. Is that crazy? Yes, it’s crazy.
I got back home and had no idea what I was doing, and honestly I wish I had this long list of events of what happened afterwards. It’s all really a blur. Basically - I talked to a few people casually about my situation (vaguely of course, because at this point I was just embarrassing myself), ended up in a conversation with a person who happened to know a guy in Baylor’s financial aid department, multiple phone calls happened, moving things around and nominating me for random things. I had no part in it whatsoever. I couldn’t tell you what happened.
Here’s the crazy part y'all - I got a call from this counselor TWO WEEKS before my Baylor move-in day saying that I was financially settled for the full four years at Baylor.
You know what is the best part, I did NOTHING to earn it. How perfect His timing, how great He is.
For the past 4 years, no matter how difficult and scary and trying they were, I woke up in Waco, Texas. Holy cow. I can’t even begin to express the work He has done in and through me in the past four years.
In less than 2 weeks, I will walk across that stage in the Ferrell Center and get my diploma, the same place that I fell in love with this school, and it will ONLY be because of His never-ending and never-failing Grace and love.
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” Hebrews 2:8
Sometimes, we don’t even recognize how much He is in control. But He is an active God, alive and working in our every trial and celebration. Sometimes, we can get so worked up over our circumstances and surroundings that we can lose touch on who created it.
I am so thankful for this university and every single person that has influenced and encouraged me. I am so excited for this next chapter of my life of ministry and marriage – but I will always carry my time at Baylor with me and cherish this education I have received. Sic ‘em Bears, am I right?