This being my junior year of high school, I started looking into colleges. I could not find the right college. I could not decide on what I would even study at college. Then it happened……
Festival of Life.
Festival of Life was a talent competition with all of the churches within our denomination in the region. I tried out for the basketball team and made the cut. Our team was the MAD (Mid-Atlantic District) team and we played against other teams from Philly, Upper New York, Metro New York, and other surrounding areas. The festival was held at one of the denomination’s colleges near Boston, Massachusetts. I had never been to Boston so I assume it was time to experience something new.
Many different competitions occurred at FOL. Writing, poetry, singing, sports, and photography were some of the categories. People competed as individuals and as teammates. We had alot of fun at FOL. Our basketball team advanced to the championship game and eventually lost to a team whose best player was a future Division I basketball player. Boston is a neat city and we were able to enjoy the sights and food (#winning) for an entire day.
Then the “talk occurred”.
My youth pastor talked to me about my future. We discussed visions, dreams, and what it is really like to go deeper in faith. We discussed ministry and I was interested in this thing called “ministry”. I believed that if God could reach out to me at my lowest point, then he could reach out to anyone. Everyone has potential. Pastor Doug and I discussed my interest in ministry.
And then I had dreams. Lots of dreams.
For months and months, I had lots of dreams. My dreams were related to my future. In my dreams, I was speaking in front of others. The irony in this is I always hated speaking in front of large groups or even class presentations in school. In my dreams, I was helping people as they went through their own battles and sought to find purpose in themselves, in life, and in their soul. People were being set free and were finding true healing in these dreams---not because of my doing but because they finally experienced the Gospel as it is meant to be presented---raw, beautiful, disruptive, sanctifying, and full of love.
During the time of these dreams, our youth group toured MVNU. MVNU is a small Christian college university in Ohio. I fell in love with the campus as I felt it was the right place for me after high school. I applied to MVNU and ENC (where FOL was held). Even with very high academic records in high school, I never heard back from ENC. Not even a rejection letter. It was obvious, MVNU was the place for me. I signed my paperwork and committed to MVNU during my senior year.
And the dreams?
The dreams continued for months and still continue today.