Hand Over the Pen

As a history major, I enjoy learning by hearing stories.  The stories of the past teach us about incredible events.  What are some of the famous stories you recall from history?  Perhaps it is the tale of the Achilles and the Trojan War.  Perhaps it is the story of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.  Perhaps it is the story of your childhood and how you grew up.

Think about it:  your life is a story.  You write your story every day.  Everything you do is a page in the story—the story of you.

While it is not my goal to write an autobiography, I would like to share a few of my life stories throughout this semester.  I think it is fitting to begin with the story of how I came to Pensacola Christian College.

Growing up seems to be a process for some people.  For other people, it seems to happen overnight.  I remember sitting in one of my classes during my senior year of high school daydreaming about my future when the realization suddenly hit me: I’m a senior.  I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with my life?”

And I honestly didn’t know.  I had ideas and plans, but none of them really included God.  I began to apply to colleges—but I did not have a clear direction or goal in mind.  Fortunately, my senior English teacher assigned me a project that required me to list out my goals.  She also asked us to list which colleges we would wish to attend and why we would wish to do so.

The result? Although I had always wanted to attend a military academy, I felt a growing conviction to attend a Christian college.  My reasons were various, so I began applying.  I was shocked to learn that I had been accepted for candidacy at a U.S. military academy—including a full scholarship and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant post-graduation.

The same week, I also received a letter of acceptance from Pensacola Christian College.  As you can guess, I had some serious decisions to make.  I sought help from my parents, pastor, teachers, and friends, but ultimately the best advice came from above.

When I was nearing the deadline to decide where I was going to attend college, God used a powerful chapel message by Dr. Kenny Baldwin to break my heart.  God used a variety of convictions to stir me to a final conclusion: I decided to attend Pensacola Christian College.

At the time of the decision I was scared and uncertain.  After all, turning down an acceptance to a service academy was contrary to all of my life plans.  But notice that word: “my.”  They were my plans, not God’s.

To make a long story short, the decision was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Uncertainty can be frightening, especially if you are forfeiting your own plans—but remember: God’s plans are always bigger than our own.  He wants to help you write your story . . . you just have to trust Him and hand over the pen.

11 Responses

  1. Meg

    That was very encouraging, thank you!

  2. Amanda King

    Thank you.

  3. I’m not sure why in all of these stories God is leading everyone to PCC. Let’s just say He is for most of them. There are issues with this school, however. Recently our pastor in our church, who used to be a staunch supporter of PCC, has started cracking jokes about PCC being an “amusement park”. My parents and I both think the same way. When people think they are being led here by God, I would warn them to be careful it is not just the fun they hear about in the advertisements and flyers that attracts them. I would be attending PCC right now if PCC devoted more attention to academics (past a bachelor’s degree) and less to relaxation. Two of my sisters were also planning to attend but now are getting questions about there being just not enough learning. I am currently taking 17 credits as a first-year student.

    • LanthanumK, the Lord has certainly blessed us with great facilities like the Sports Center, West Campus, etc., but He has also blessed us with a godly, well-educated faculty. To help our students prepare for graduate studies, we offer LSAT practice tests, Bible comprehensive exams, a Kaplan nursing exam, graduate forums, and meetings with other graduate schools seeking to recruit our students. Over 390 graduate schools have accepted our students. I’d encourage you to look at our alumni insights page on our website to read their testimonies. I think it will be a help to you.

      Our Admissions office would be a great place for you to call or email with any further questions you may have.

      • LanthanumK

        OK, maybe I was a little harsh. I’m sure you have a good motive behind creating a Christian community where students can enjoy themselves as well as learn about God and academics. I was just concerned that students may get an idealistic view of life when they attend instead of viewing the world as the sin-tainted place that it really is.

  4. Darian DePerte

    Wow, that’s great! I liked the title to this post because it was different and “drew” me in. (: You’re right, every day is another paragraph in your story, another chapter in your book. I used to be the one writing my story, but I learned to give my pen to God and He has been writing a much better story ever since. I’m so thankful to finally be a freshman at PCC and have been loving it. (:

  5. dawn

    Thank you for the great post!!It was really encouraging!!!

  6. Rhoda O'Donnell

    Justin,
    Your message was very encouraging, thank you for sharing your heart with us, we all need to be reminded of God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness. When we trust in Him our lives take a path that He ordains and we are so blessed by our obedience!
    May He continue to bless you as you listen for His direction.

    With Love in Christ,
    Nanny

    • Obedience in faith! Thank you Nan, love you too!

  7. Abe Haven

    Right on, bro! Peace and true joy come once you “hand over the pen” and allow the Author of Life to write your life. It is the most amazing feeling in the world and well worth the step of faith.

    • It certainly is! The best part about it is the fact that God knows the end of the story!

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