About a month ago, another one of my super-awesome brothers graduated from a very special place…home of the NDSU Bison! It was also the home of my husband and I during college, my eldest brother (also an alumnus), my sister in-law and her husband, and our adopted 4-wheeling brother (there is one more yet to walk off the campus as an alumnus)! This was the fourth NDSU graduation my husband and I have attended (including our own); and it was as exciting as always to watch a family member cross the stage.
I always love walking back on the campus of NDSU, it feels like another home. Although I personally never lived on the campus itself, I spent HOURS studying, hanging out with friends, attending class, being active in student events and clubs, hanging out with friends, studying with friends, laughing at silly things, hanging out with friends, attending AWESOME sporting events, working at the Wellness Center, working out at the Wellness Center, and…did I mention hanging out with friends?
Yes, there are some SUPER wonderful memories of the times on campus, including the my last semester of college when I finally gave in and began dating (which ended with the same date for life! I love you honey, my better NDSU half – it’s likely he spent more time studying). And there is the Bison Pride that really never wears off a person no matter how far removed from college life I get. I feel like a college student, minus the tests, every time I walk back onto the campus.
So, walking onto campus that day in December to see another family member join the elite club of our family alumni was sure a treat! While we may have all had different experiences during our time at NDSU and made different or even the same friends (I’m not THAT much older), our time there was special. And as another one of my brothers moves on to a new job that he is excited about, I’m truly thankful that he continues to walk in the Lord’s path for his life (especially since that path brought him through NDSU – if you haven’t figured it out yet, the is definitely a lot of Bison Pride here: good or bad, judge for yourself!).
In the same way, the Lord brings many of us to similar places in life, giving us different experiences or connections, maybe even the same connections. Some of those places have been a key location in our life, or we went through situations there that had an impact on who we are today. Whatever the story, I know God has orchestrated my path and always been the one to whom I can feel at home with in any situation.
When I open the Bible or my hands in prayer to listen and talk with Him, I feel at home. Unlike NDSU, where I have to physically be to feel that homey presence, I can be anywhere we talking with the Lord. Which means I get that peaceful, exciting, secure, loving, joyful and homey feeling from Him anytime, anyplace. I cannot be afraid of change or unscheduled/unwanted circumstances in life when I have a safe and encouraging place to go – to the Lord.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge & my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon…For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place…For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91 (I encourage you to read the whole passage for full understanding, & know He will guard you as you pursue His ways.)
As Graduation is usually a time of change, and so is a New Year, is it always nice to have a place to go back to where a person gets all of those feelings. So if you are in a season of change, I’d encourage you to seek the Lord no matter where you are physically or spiritually. He will bring you home, wherever that needs to be for you!
As I did for the first of my NDSU graduating brothers – One more thing, just for my brother: Congratulations! We are always praying for you and are excited for you to be done with homework and walking through a new open door!