When we think of Jeremiah 29, we often automatically think about verse 11, which is a good one. We use it when we are doing scary things in life (such as graduating high school and leaving for college). But, I find the surrounding verses just as intriguing.
“I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. // Jeremiah 29:10-14
These verses contain not only the assurance that God is in control but a direct promise that if we seek Him wholeheartedly, He will make Himself known to us. Google defines “wholeheartedly” as “with complete sincerity and commitment”. College is the time in your life where you are kind of figuring out where you are going and who you want to be. Over the past year, I have grown immensely in my faith, especially through the relationships I developed with other believers. The BCM very quickly became my home here in Tuscaloosa.
Coming into college, I was very concerned about meeting people and being thrust out of the “small pond” that is my hometown into the “giant lake” that is UA. I knew I had always wanted to come here, but I did not know how I was going to find a place in the 40,000 students. However, those fears were completely unfounded. In just my first year, I have developed friendships that I already know will last me a lifetime.
While on mission the summer after my Senior year of high school before coming to college, my youth pastor taught a lesson about the Israelite leader Joshua (you know, the one who marched around the walls of Jericho and they came tumbling down). In Deuteronomy 31, Joshua is about to take over leadership from the Israelite hero who took them out of Egypt, paraded them around the wilderness for 40 years, and spoke directly face to face with God: Moses. Talk about some big shoes to fill. Joshua, even after learning from and assisting Moses for 40 years, was about to take on a whole new world.
Several times throughout that chapter, and throughout his life, God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous”. This is not because Joshua was a weak or timid leader. He just went through a major life change. He got through it by depending on God and leaning on His promises.
Going back to Jeremiah 29, God promises not only an assured path, but that when we seek Him, He will be there. He will be there in the big stuff, like moving to a new town or state, starting college, making all new friends. He will be there in the small stuff, like when we wake up, eat, and go to class. One of the most unique and special things about the BCM is you immerse yourself in like-minded individuals. In the crazy world of college, especially at UA, the BCM is a place where you can pause, take a breath, and re-center your energies on the Ultimate Creator and Savior of the Universe: Jesus Christ. The people there wholeheartedly seek and run after God and are focused on His mission.
This summer, as you are preparing to embark on this great adventure, I pray God gives you peace about coming and that, during the year, you will look for Him wholeheartedly, just as we are called to do in Jeremiah 29. I can’t wait to meet you!
Faryn Fryer // @farynberry
Collaborative Special Education
Sophomore // Columbiana, AL