It was my sophomore year of college.
I was just as excited as the year before to drive onto University Boulevard in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Because I never had the money to put a deposit for the following year, my roommates got selected for me at the beginning of each year.
I never knew who I was going to be living with for the year, which is always kind of an interesting way to live. Especially since social media wasn’t a thing yet, so there was no creeping on Facebook!
I got what I got.
I walked into my new dorm and met the 2 girls I would be spending every day with for that whole year…or at least I thought it would be for the whole year.
Going in, I was already at a disadvantage because I had just gotten 2 wisdom teeth out the week before school started. It was a traumatic experience to say the least, and involved the “dentist” literally putting his knee up on the chair and yanking my tooth from my mouth.
I ended up taking a double dose of percocet, which was also the time I found out that in spite of my small stature, drugs don’t affect my body at all unless taken in ungodly amounts.
The pain was so bad that I ended up having to call an oral surgeon to go and have a procedure done. The surgeon told me he had never seen anything like what he saw when he looked in my mouth! Note to self: cheaper dentists are not always the better option.
Anyways, my roommate at the time took me to the appointment and seemed nice enough. She was a sophomore and had just transferred from Word of Life.
Hmm. Seems legit. Right?
The other roommate (I honestly can’t even remember her name) was also a sophomore and nothing stood out to me as particularly strange.
My mouth eventually healed, and the semester went on.
I don’t remember the actual day that it all started, but my roommates started treating me terribly. They would gang up on me and try to make my life miserable. It was basically bullying, but not to the point where I was going to try and get them in trouble. They weren’t physically hurting me.
Because these girls were being so horrible, I started talking to these other 2 girls on my hall, Cassie and Sherrie. Their room was a couple doors down, and I started spending a lot of time with them. I even went to Tennessee over break to meet Sherrie’s family!
One night, one of the roommates started screaming at me (right after she turned the light off while I was quietly sitting on my bed studying) she said some pretty ridiculously horrible, untrue things and I really couldn’t take it any more. I ended up bringing my pillow and blankets into my friend’s room and slept there just about every night.
Things were hard the next few months, and money was tight. I was pretty emotionally upset and ended up deciding to just go home after that first semester. I remember walking down the hall the day I was going to pack up and leave, and my roommates had taken all my stuff and thrown it all in the hall.
I still don’t know what I ever did to either one of them to make them hate me so much. I never really knew why it all happened, or what God’s plan was through all of it.
Sherrie, (who is one of the sweetest, most amazing girls you could ever know) and I have stayed in touch over the years.
She has not had the easiest life. Hard times have definitely given her a run for her money. Yet she has stayed strong in her faith. She is a single momma to 2 boys. She works hard and she loves God. She is raising her boys to do the same.
She started supporting our ministry at The Porch through prayer and with financial donations. She has prayed by name for specific people from our town.
She is such a huge part of our ministry.
Do you think it’s possible that God knew about the ministry I was going to start 20 years after I met Sherrie?
Do you think it’s possible that God knew that there were going to be kids that needed the prayers Sherrie would pray?
Do you think it’s possible that God knew our ministry would be in desperate need of money and a check that Sherrie would send would be what kept us afloat?
And do you think that God knew the only way I would meet Sherrie and get to know her was if my roommates made me want to be somewhere…anywhere besides my own room?
I believe that God ordained all of it.
The difficult times. Being bullied. Crying. Not understanding what was going on…
And He knew. He knew in his way-bigger-than-me plan that Sherrie would need to be in my life 20 years after I met her for a way-bigger-than-me plan He was putting together that would impact the lives of teenagers in a little town in New Hampshire.
Because that’s the kind of God He is.
He’s the kind of God who knows.
He’s the kind of God who cares. Even about the smallest details.
And He’s the kind of God who holds you when you cry, knowing that these trials that don’t make any sense now, will someday make perfect sense.
Was it hard? Yes. I cried myself to sleep a lot that semester.
But if it meant I could meet Sherrie and have her as such an amazing part of my life 20 years down the road? Totally worth it.
We are so short sighted.
We don’t understand so many things about life.
But we don’t have to.
We have to just keep holding on.
Keep believing that God is in control.
I’m going through the book of Exodus and this book always blows my mind.
Continually it says that God will fight for you.
It is always talking about God’s mercy, his power, his knowledge, his love.
Oh I love that about God.
He heard me crying out to him when I was a 19-year-old girl being bullied!
And he knew that it all had to happen so that the bigger plan would be able to be fulfilled!
So when trials don’t make sense…hold on.
Believe that God has a bigger plan.
Trust Him to fulfill those plans even when they don’t make sense.
And keep those godly friends close to you.
They make all the difference in the world.