When I was a teenager, planning for the future was not my thing. I had a five-month plan, perhaps, but a five-year plan? Five years was ridiculously far away. For instance, applying to college was not the long, drawn out process it is for teens today. I simply chose to go the inexpensive route (both in dollars and planning time) and follow my friends to a state university.
God changed my way of thinking my sophomore year in college. The Living God tends to do that for His children.
“Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.
I knew I was not comfortable at the university--I wanted smaller classes, and a school with a spiritual aspect. Not being a partier, I was unhappy with dorm life, so I was already living back at home. The one school that fit the bill within driving distance of my home was St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut.
However, the school’s bill did not “fit the bill”--at $5,000 a year, it was more than triple the cost of my university (those were the days!). So, I prayed. This was a big deal for me: I had not prayed as a believer for something so big and so specific. But, other more seasoned Christians were telling me that God cares for His children and He answers prayer--sometimes in miraculous or unexpected ways.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
So, I stepped out in faith: “Lord, I really want to go to St. Joe’s, but the tuition seems out of reach. I pray for a scholarship--and if the scholarship lowers tuition by half, then I’ll know you want me to go there.”
I still remember the day I opened my acceptance letter and my financial aid award: “You have been awarded the Vitimaur Scholarship for merit: $2,500.” I nearly fell over. It was my first clear answer to prayer and it was a huge faith builder.
But what I did not know was that my time at St. Joseph would bring several special people into my life: professors who encouraged me to pursue excellence and who inspired me academically for the first time in my life, and two future family members: my friend Maureen, who when I was a senior, introduced me to her brother, my future partner in life.
God had a plan for me that I did not even know existed--and that plan is still unfolding for me and my family ever since I prayed that very special request.