My brother-in-law went off to college this week. I’m the youngest in my family; so marrying an oldest child has provided lots of new experiences–like celebrating high school graduations and watching siblings embark on new life stages.
I couldn’t sleep the night before he left, so I decided to pray for him. As I did, I began to think of all of the people who were probably praying for me as I went off to college (some of them who didn’t even know me). Boy, am I thankful for them! I’m sure I wouldn’t have appreciated it at the time, but now that I have been through the ropes and I stand on the other side, I see how important it is.
I loved college because it provided me independence, the chance to experiment, and an opportunity to develop a new way of viewing the world. Those things are great, but they can also be really harmful if they aren’t channelled towards the right things. Looking back, I can see with incredible clarity the fork in my own road. There were two paths before me, and I am so thankful I chose the one that was influenced by (and ended up strengthening) my faith. It wasn’t perfect—there were definitely challenges and regrets, but they were minimal, and I used them to grow into the person I am now.
I am so thankful for the mentors I had in college and the ways they invested in my life. But even if you don’t feel called to serve in that capacity, I encourage you to pray for the students who are headed to campus this fall. (Let’s include high school students too, because Lord knows high school is a HARD place to be!)
Pray that they would make wise choices that are pleasing to the Lord.
Pray that they would keep the faith, even when it gets hard.
Pray that those without firm foundations in the faith would be surrounded by encouraging believers.
Pray that they would find community to help get them through this stage of life.
Pray that they would have wise mentors speak into their lives.
Pray for direction as they begin to think about their futures.