Prayer and Perseverance

I made it.

After 5 ½ years, I finally walked in my graduation ceremony at Missouri State University. I technically graduated in May, but COVID resulted in a delayed ceremony.

I entered college in the fall of 2015, and it all feels like a century ago. And yet I remember it all so clearly—the all-nighters, the pre-exam dread, the panic attacks when I didn’t get my desired grade on an assignment, the shortness of breath after rushing across campus to get to back-to-back classes in time. I could possibly write a book about my college experience because I took a wide range of challenging courses, had unusual and interesting encounters with students and classmates, and managed to get through it all unscathed. But also slightly traumatized.

The most important accomplishment after 5 ½ years of attending liberal colleges is (as some have told me) that I kept my faith through it all. Indeed, I left college this past May with a stronger understanding of who I am in Christ than I had when I entered college in 2015. There were moments when classmates openly ridiculed conservative and Christian beliefs as though they assumed no one in the room held those beliefs. There were liberal professors who taught ideologies and theories counter to what I believe, but I was always able to discern between the truth and a lie. God kept my mind stayed on Him through it all. There were even so many moments when I was positive I wouldn’t pass a test or keep a 4.0 (which meant the world to me), but every time, I prayed, didn’t give up, and trusted God to take care of it. And He did.

You see, I can’t do anything on my own—pass a test, write a great paper, or withstand others’ ridicule and challenges of my beliefs.

But through Christ, I can do all those things.

I firmly believe that He is the reason I made it this far when I was depressed and burned out from college in 2018. He is the reason I persevered and was able to graduate. He is the reason I can testify today that no amount of secular teaching ever caused me to waver in my faith and belief in Him. The more college exposed me to worldly spirits and points of view, the closer He pulled me to Him because I kept praying and kept believing in Him.

Prayer and perseverance.

That’s it.

If you’re in college right now or thinking of going to college someday soon, be encouraged that you can make it through and finish strong. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop studying His Word. Don’t stop going to church.

Just breathe. You will make it.

Pray. (Give your cares to God.)

And repeat.

Every single day take it step by step and day by day. Pretty soon, you’ll be looking back over that finish line, relieved that you made it and rejoicing in God for carrying you through.

He did it for me. I know He’ll do it for you.

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