Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Remembering Asbury College

A new friend I've made via email asked me how I ended up at Asbury College (Now Asbury University) in Wilmore (where I now reside). I wanted to save my response to her here as a reminder to myself that God does open doors and provides, that He has a purpose for every life even though we might not know what it is at the time, and that purposes change with each season of our lives. I also learned that sometimes God won't open those doors until you take a step first. This is my story.

I attended a Jr. college in Dothan my first two years on basic grant and scholarship. I also worked a night job at a sewing factory. My parents didn't have the money to send me to school. I was determined to go to college no matter what I had to do. At the end of my Sophomore year, I was devastated. Not enough money to attend college like my friends were doing. They were going off to Auburn U and AL U. I was headed back to work at night at the sewing factory. The last day of classes, a friend sat down across from me and said, "I don't know why, but God wants me to tell you about Asbury College." He was a student there and he and his wife moved back to Dothan because her parents were ill. We met at the jr. college. I asked how much it cost and after he told me, I laughed nervously telling him never mind. He said, "If you really want to go, there is always a way."

Still wanting so badly to go to college, Asbury stayed with me. I contacted the school for a chance to visit. The week of my vacation, I stayed in the dorm and attended classes. As I sat outside one of the Dean's offices, Dr. Eddy (who has long since passed away), a paper airplane flew out of his office hitting his secretary in the head. She just said, "Don't worry. He does this all of the time." Dr. Eddy was a much older man, but had the heart of a teen." I knew then I wanted to go to Asbury. I explained to him I would have to pay the entire cost myself. He said the same thing, "IF you really want to go, there is always a way."

In January, I boarded a Greyhound bus with $50 in my pocket. I had been approved for basic grants, scholarships, a loan, and work study. But at the end of the quarter, I still had 10% left to be paid. When I went into the Financial aid office, all I could think of was it would be my last quarter. The lady said, "Don't worry. Your bill is paid. You have a secret benefactor. In fact, your bill will be paid off at the end of every quarter. Just keep doing what you are doing."

God always provided the finances to Asbury. I worked my butt off to get there, stay there, and get those grades. In the end, the years at Asbury were the best years of my life. I didn't have a loving home. At Asbury I found friends who became family, some I still talk to on a daily basis by phone. I remember coming back at the beginning of each quarter after being picked up at the bus station. When I reached the Y, it felt as though we drove underneath the bubble that protected us from the world into the one place God's presence was always found. I remember tears swelling up every time I came home to Wilmore.

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