Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Chapel

They never told me how tough freshman year of college could be. Did they tell you? I really had no idea.

It didn't help that I had a really amazing senior year of high school. Then we moved out of the only house I ever knew (so what if it was barely a mile away?) and my only real boyfriend dumped me.

Then I left for college.

Okay, I'm completely aware that really it wasn't that bad! I can be dramatic.

But it wasn't all fun and games like I always thought it would be.

I mean there was some fun. And lots of foosball and sand volleyball games. And movies. Lots of movies and cookie dough.

But it was hard. I don't really know any better way to describe it.

The funny thing is, though, when I think back on it now I am overwhelmed with the good stuff.

And by good stuff I mean God's grace and mercy.

There was the little things like having an end room so we didn't have to share our bathroom. And a foosball table in the nearby boys dorm where I was champion. And the amazing athletic building with lots of treadmills and weight machines and a pool.

And there were big things. Very important, big things.

My sister lived off campus and did an amazing job being my big sister. I could not have survived without her.

My roommate and I met and became best friends. Literally as fast as you just read that sentence. I could not have survived without her.

Every morning I got up half hour earlier than necessary and spent time with the Lord. I could not have survived without Him.

That finally brings me to the point of this post...

The Chapel. I could not have survived without it.

Last weekend we went to my little brother's final homecoming game. We finally had a chance to visit the chapel that I've told Derek about so many times.

We walked in and I started to cry.

I spent time in that chapel almost every day of my first semester. And I cried almost every time I walked in.

I was hurting. Bad.

And when I would walk into this chapel, into the silence, into the peace that I could practically touch, I would break over and over again. And little by little, God put me back together, piece by piece.

Second semester was very different. That peace that I clung to inside that chapel, finally became part of my every day life.

I stepped into that chapel only once in the last few months of freshman year.

And I cried.

But they were tears of thanksgiving. My Savior carried me through those first few months and finally I was able to walk into this chapel already filled with peace and joy. I was on the other side of my most difficult trial up to that point in my life.

9 years later I got to walk in with my family.

Wow. I'm at a loss for words...

Thank You, Father.

Thank You.

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