This past Wednesday, my dad and I left in an airplane at around 6 in the morning for my very first technical college visit. We were heading off to Asbury college, a private, Christian school in Wilmore, Kentucky. I wasn't sure what I was going to see there or what I was going to do, but it was truly going to be an adventure I was excited about and kinda nervous for too.
Well, Kentucky is absolutely beautiful. It's full of rolling, green fields, and in Lexington, there are oodles of beautiful brick buildings. Another thing I noticed besides the fact that a whole lot of people smoke over there (and that they're allowed to smoke in buildings, which is completely weird for me since the state I live in is pretty strict about such stuff), is that there are tons of churches. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I'm curious how many of those churches are really living or if a lot of people just hang their hat there for the social aspect and never really know that Living Water runs free and that it changes you. Anyway, it was a pretty nice place, except for the traffic and traffic signs. Oh, another side note, some of the people had extremely cool accents! It was kinda weird though . . . their accents made it feel like a completely different culture, which I'm sure it kinda is, but you know . . . :)
Well, my dad and I eventually located the college, and I was again told that I was going to be staying with a girl who I'll call Caroline. I had no idea what to expect, except that everyone said that she was incredible and so sweet. After an A&W dinner, my dad and I trekked back to the college, and I, with the help of another girl, found Miss Caroline's room. The door opened, and I saw a lovely little southern girl with short hair, a super cool accent, and a beautiful heart. She was soooo welcoming. She let me sleep on her bed while she slept on the floor and offered to take me to an event in the student center, but what really touched me the most about this gal was how similar we are or were at least. Thursday night, I was in the dorm, pretty tired, and she just sat down with me and offered me some peanuts, so we shucked peanuts and chatted about life. I mentioned that everyone knows her and loves her and that she must be a pretty beautiful person. :) She told me the story of how she used to be really closed up, that grades used to be everything to her. She's got a perfectionistic bent (which sounds a bit too familiar) and allowed school work to consume her and take over the girl she was meant to be. She shut out friends and lived in her little box with just her school work and her family. When she came to college, she came with the idea that it was her chance to start over. She was going to have friends again, just meet 'em and make 'em, and ya know what? People were going to like her. And let me tell you . . . people love her.
Lately, I feel like God has been kinda tapping on my shoulder and wanting me to realize that it's okay to be Danae, that I'm not supposed to be someone else, just simply Danae. I'm not sure what all that means, but I'm kinda excited to find out.
Anyway, another thing I loved about Caroline was how real she was. She wasn't a cheapo fake; she was the real college deal with a heart for the Lord. I want to be like that. Seriously. I'm so glad we could talk because she so encouraged me and because I felt that, because we are very similar in personalities, she understood, and I understood her. That's an extremely marvelous thing.
I also feel like I got kinda a revelation as I was laying in my top bunk bed in the small dorm. You know those ideas that hit ya at random moments, the ones that seem so simple and yet so profound? Well, I had one of those. It came to me that though I need to try to be like Jesus, that's not my complete goal. I need to learn to be a follower of Jesus and a lover. I think that I so often make my goal to be Jesus, which being like Him is an extremely fantastic goal, but I think that I sometimes miss the whole deal that I need to learn to be the best follower of Him that I can be (and that will lead me to being like Him). Anyway, relative side note: I was listening to a lady on Focus on the Family once upon a time ago, and she was talking about how women need to make it a goal to learn to be the best lovers for their husbands that they can be. Ya see where I'm going? I need to learn to be the best follower (and lover) of Christ that I can be. I need to learn what it means to serve Him, to think ahead to how I can bless Him, to spend quality time with Him, and in the end, if I spend that time with Him and listen to His voice, I will be like Him in the end. I have no idea if that made any sense, but the whole idea got the creaky wheels of my mind turning. :)
Anyway, those are some of the things I learned in Wilmore. . . that it's okay to be me (and it's okay to BE you), that I need to learn how to follow, and also, that I need to say "yes" to Jesus, even when I don't know what I'm saying "yes" to because of a hazy future . . .
I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with Asbury. I really think it's a great school with fantastic people, but I'm not sure where God's leading me yet. So I have a lot of processing and a lot of praying to do yet. :) I really believe the trip was worth it though. I had a fantastic time with my dad, I met a lovely southern girl, and I learned a few lessons in beautiful, little Wilmore. :)