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.