Sunday, February 9, 2014

God's Not a College Admissions Counselor

Well..... today was Youth Sunday and I'm so glad with how it went! I was so lucky to have gotten to preach a sermonette to our congregation and felt called to turn it into a blog post.

But I am truly lucky to be a part of such an amazing church with so many wonderful people in my life. God has blessed me with so many incredible people and incredible opportunities!!


So... here it is-- God's not a college admissions counselor.

If you are a senior in high school, it is guaranteed that you have been asked “So, where ya going to college?” at least a million times. Let me tell you right now, I have absolutely no clue. I do not know where I’m going to college, and oh how I envy those that do, but again, in case you ask me again, I really don’t know.

There are six schools I’ve heard back from..... and nine that I have not. Yeah, that means I’m one of those crazy kids. I have been chastised and judged over this a million times, but yes, I applied to fifteen colleges.

That means that there are fifteen different groups, not people, but fifteen groups that have been examining my life and hard work for the past four years, all summed up on one single college application.

I remember having a little bit of a huge meltdown in the fall with my mom. Getting ready to take my last ACT, it was just mindblowing to me that one test and a few points here and there could determine my college admissions decision. They say it won’t really alter it, but come on, it does. And the whole system of college admissions was freaking me out, too. All of the grades, extracurriculars, volunteer hours, all of the recommendations were suddenly being scrutinized and judged by a bunch of people that didn’t know me from squat. My essays were being looked at and supposed to be taken in a new light, one that showed my ‘quirkiness’, ‘diversity’, and ‘uniqueness’ that I as an individual would bring to the school, when they really just wanted my application to help their stats.

Submitting over FORTY essays makes you a little introspective, as well. What sorts of things are they looking for? What’s their mission statement? How do they want me to fit into their school? Are they more academia or community focused? You can go absolutely crazy trying to figure out who you are and what you stand for as just a measly 18 year old with no worldly experience. And I went crazy.

You can think about it all day long and try to compare yourself to other applicants and what kinds of volunteer work they did or whether your ACT scores align with their SAT scores and on and on. It’s a problem I have personally with college admissions, but also in all other parts of my life. I’m a comparer, plagued by the trivial “judgers” that I thought were important.

You can put your whole self on a college application and try to show who you really are, try to prove to a bunch of strangers that you are the most qualified and you deserve it the most. You can email them every day and send them care packages in an attempt to sway their judgements in your favor.

But you know who doesn’t care if you send edible arrangements or try to pretend to be someone you’re not?

Do you know who only sees you in the eyes that view you as a child of God, and not just another statistic?

All throughout that cynical mindset I had, it became clear that try as I might, I’m not the perfect student. I may not be the “perfect fit” at College X and my ACT scores may not be high enough to get into College Y, but in the College of Christ, it’s a 100% acceptance rate. No gimmicks, no 4.0 unweighted GPAs necessary, just a loving heart and a willingness to serve God.

My first rejection was really tough. I had my heart set on it and knew that if I got in, I was going there. And I didn’t get in. So many people thought that I was going to be devastated and heartbroken, and yeah, it wasn’t the best feeling in the world, but I had this weird sort of faith that wherever I went to school, I knew that it would’ve been the will of God and His decision to put me where I need to be. God’s plan wasn’t exactly for me to be in that school. 1 John 3:20 reads, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

He knows my heart and my dreams.... and He also knows yours.

And as I got through that heartbreaking rejection of not getting into my dream school, yeah, it’s been a little stressful. Yeah, I still spend a lot of time thinking about what this other college admissions counselor is going to think of me. But in the grand scheme of things, this trivial, inconsequential judgement does not matter. I am a child of God no matter my number of leadership roles in clubs. I am judged only by the almighty God, full of everlasting love, just as you and the person sitting next to you are children of God.

Maybe you’re comparing yourself to the guy at work that’s always doing a little bit better than you, or maybe it even seems that there’s someone who always seems to be a better church goer than you. We all compare ourselves to one another. We all try to see who has what qualities and who’s one upping us, but if you look around, we are all viewed by the one who loves us no matter what.

No matter what the people around you think of your merits and achievements, it’s important to remember what you’re doing to serve the One who gave you those merits. No matter if you have no clue where you’re going to be in a few months, in a few years, or in a few decades, just know that God’s calling to you will speak and you’ll find yourself in opportunities to spread His love. I’m reminded of John 15:5 where God says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Be comforted in the fact that God loves you. God loves you lots and lots and has a plan for you where you will find comfort in being a part of of his almighty vine.

Be the branches and bear the fruit. Know that in God’s college, everyone is “the perfect fit” and that everyone’s accepted for their quirks and differences, and that we can all see ourselves fitting into God’s mission statement just fine.

xoxo,
Meredith

2 comments:

  1. This was such an inspiring post! As a college senior, I can promise you that you WILL end up where you're meant to be! I could have went to a fashion school in Manhattan for $6,000 a year, and I chose a school that had a fashion program and was almost $40,000 a year. And I don't regret a single thing!

    Good luck with everything! Can't wait to see where you end up!

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