A few weeks ago I heard another MC student say, "MC gives you the freedom to let God work in your life." And as the words left her mouth they hit me like a ton of bricks because they're so true. Seriously.
Let me explain.
I came to college three years ago expecting them to fly by in the same way that high school did. I expected a four year season saturated with homework and social activities and maybe a job. I expected laughter and Instagram pictures and friendships that would last a lifetime. I've gotten all of those things.
However, what I didn't expect was for the Father to use college as the setting for intense emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. I didn't expect to find myself in a counselor's office or with below-average grades because depression was tearing away at the person I thought I was.
I won't go into details about what exactly what my freshman and sophomore years were like, but know this: they were hard. If you want to know more, explore my personal blog and you'll learn a lot.
At the end of my sophomore year (last May) I was tired. I spent the year in classes that I hated (due to poor choices & a bad attitude); I was over-committed on campus; I was in the end of another nasty season battling depression and anxiety. But I finished my finals, packed up my room and thanked Jesus that I had survived.
I left that semester with everything in line for the fall. I had a roommate; I was registered for classes, and I was going to hold leadership positions on campus.
I had a plan, but God had a different one.
Suddenly, it was July, and I found myself sitting at a computer and withdrawing from school. I wasn't sure of much but I was sure that, at this moment in my life, my time at MC was on hold. I didn't know what would happen after I pressed the buttons and officially removed myself from MC, but I knew the One who was calling me to press those buttons. I knew that it had nothing to do with MC and everything to do with His plan. In that moment, I chose to trust, and I walked into the unknown and away from what I knew.
The fall semester was weird, in a good way. After two years of constantly going at MC and being at school since I was five, a semester off was foreign, incredible and healing. I took the semester, interned at a camp, lived in community and spent a lot of one-on-one time with Jesus. It was exactly what I didn't know that I needed.
And just as simply as the call to leave MC came, so simply did the call to come back.
There are a lot of details between here and there that, once again, can be found on my personal blog.
When I chose to come back to MC, it felt right. I felt welcomed. It wasn't the situation when I walked back onto campus and I felt like I had missed out on everything. It was when I walked back on campus, and I felt like I was being welcomed home.
The staff at MC worked with me to get back and up to speed with MC life. My adviser in the English department showed me what my life needed to look like in order to graduate on time. She never looked at me and told me it was impossible. She worked with me. The admissions office guided me down the path of scholarships and enrollment as I prepared to come back. They told me what had to be done. They cheered me on. My professors celebrated with me that I was on the upside of healing. They encouraged me that they could see the difference, and they've helped me to get back on my feet.
So when I heard that girl say that MC gives us the freedom to let God work in our lives, I knew she was telling the truth.
For three years I've gotten to experience the joy of that. The staff and student body are made up of people that celebrate the work God does in our lives. They celebrate the good and the hard and even what takes us away from MC. Because these people are more concerned with our spiritual well-being than anything else. And that's something you can't say about every school. We've got something special going on, and I'm happy to call this place home again.