Graduate high school. Go to college of your dreams and find the one your soul is supposed to love within four years. Graduate with a degree that will help you make the most money. Marriage. Kids. Live happily ever after.

That’s the standard I’ve set for myself. It’s the standard I’ve known for years. I graduated high school thinking all of these things, but the Lord had other plans for me. I never really experienced “college life.” I lived at home and commuted 10 minutes to school. For a year and a half, Faulkner University became a great part of my life. We had chapel every day, reading from God’s Word and praising Him with our hearts in song. I was in a social club where we served the community, encouraged one another, and became a family (Phi Lambda Forever!!!). In the middle of my sophomore year, I ran up the stairs to my best friend’s apartment where I cried many tears of sadness, confusion, and fear. She literally applied to The University of Alabama for me, filled out what she knew about me and then forced me to complete it to send it off. I never planned on transferring schools, especially from a small Christian university to a gigantic public university.

Taking a gap semester was never a part of my plan. Pursuing art never even crossed my mind. I realized that moving away and pursuing my dream benefited me in many ways. When I settled into my new apartment, I kept telling myself, “If the Lord doesn’t want me here, then He will let me know.” Through all of the mental and emotional exhaustion, financial crises, and adjustment to a new environment, God provided. He has not closed this door for me. He’s opened so many doors of opportunity within this season of life. This season of life was a completely different one from the standard transition. I had many dreams of meeting new people, collaborating with other artists in the local area, and finding the love of my life. I also had many fears of forgetting my Lord and pursuing my own desires. I was afraid of becoming someone I have always told myself not to be. From Faulkner University to The University of Alabama, it was culture shock. Not everyone was like you. Not everyone loved the Lord.

Thankfully, I started this new season with my sweet sister and one of our best friends. We were welcomed to Central and T4C with open arms, and I have never felt so much love. I have survived here for 6 months and counting, Lord willing. Being here has challenged my faith for the best, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to move away. My walk with the Lord is ever-growing. In the book of Ecclesiastes 3, the writer states that there’s a season for everything. I’ve had a time to hate and a time to love. I’ve had a time to weep and a time to laugh. There were times of peace and times of war. These seasons are on repeat. Sometimes you’re going through several seasons simultaneously, just like Alabama weather. It can be sunny with clear blue skies, but also raining. There can be so much goodness happening, but every now and then there’s a bad storm. New seasons come with change, but the Lord is established. He is permanent. He is forever. (1 Peter 5:10) His love is constant when the seasons change. The standard is overrated.