Choosing a college’s early decision policy is a courageous step, and I did it. On December 2, I was accepted into the artsy, historical, progressive, and highly-reputed Oberlin College (Ohio) with full-tuition, room, and board scholarships. I was thrilled, astounded. I was blessed by the Most High. I praised God, thanked my family, and spread the news to whoever asked.
I received three main responses. The majority responded expectedly: “Oberlin! Congratulations! — Where is that?” I would say Ohio. “That’s far! I know you’ll do very well,” and I thanked them and said I would. Some responded and, opposed to the quicker majority, did not immediately hide the fact that they had no idea where or how good Oberlin was. They would say “Oberlin!…ummm, Oberlin?” and I told them its location and as many cool facts as I knew about it. And as I spoke, sure enough, the puzzled expression on my inquirer’s face slowly became relaxed, fascinated, and soon even as happy as my own. They too wished me the best. The last responders had foreknowledge and warned me that Oberlin was “liberal” and “progressive,” deprived of Christian culture. Indeed, Oberlin self-admittedly is.
This was on my mind at The City School’s yearly Benefit Dinner. During the night I told guests who asked where I was going, my journey, and college choice, and I received all three types of responses. When I spoke to the dinner’s amazing speaker towards the end of the night, however, he responded differently, saying, “You carry the Kingdom of God within you, wherever you go.” How comforting that was! I haven’t forgotten it since. Just as applying to Oberlin was courageous, going is courageous too. However, just as the Kingdom of God is with me now, I know that it will remain with me always.
“The waiting place…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go, or the mail to come, or the rain to go, or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow, or waiting around for a YES or NO, or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.” The waiting place is one location Dr. Seuss guarantees you will enter in Oh the Places You’ll Go! This year, I have been in the waiting place. Waiting to hear from colleges, waiting for financial aid, waiting for test scores, waiting for graduation. Every day, I wait. Every day I question where my life is going and what God is doing. But God uses the waiting places in our lives to teach us to depend on him. Here, in the “waiting place,” I have discovered that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness….The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:22–23, 25). God has carried me through a portion of the “waiting place.” I am planning to attend Wheaton in the fall, I have many of my test scores, and things seem lined up for next year. However, I have realized that this is only the beginning of the waiting. The life of a Christian is spent waiting for God to act, to provide, to deliver, but ultimately, waiting for Christ to return. Senior year was just one part of my wait, a small passage within the “waiting place.”
Please join Maranatha and their families tonight for our Youth Service as we honor and send out all 15 of our high school graduating seniors. We want our seniors to know they are loved and being sent out by the whole church and to encourage them to continue to love and serve their King wherever they go! Kevin DeYoung will be preaching, we will hear testimonies from high school seniors, and the Maranatha teens will participate in various aspects of the service. Please join us for a reception afterward, and take time to personally greet, encourage, and celebrate with our seniors.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dora Phan. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org