1000 Days Podcast

“1000 Days seeks to showcase the very real lives of very real people. Join us as we watch God unfold the stories of four students while they experience life at Cedarville University. From the celebratory moments to the ones filled with heartfelt trials, God uses them all to make us more like Christ.”

 September 20, 2022

Bella – Day 28

Hi! My name is Bella and I am a broadcasting major with (hopefully) a minor in marketing. It’s my first year here at Cedarville and if I am being completely honest, it has been a very overwhelming experience. I was a homeschooled student so I wasn’t used to seeing people my age every day, let alone living with them. Luckily, I was blessed to have an amazing roommate who I bonded with very fast. As well as great girls in my hall who always had a smile and or something positive to say. Coming from a home with four sisters, having such a welcoming community of girls helped me feel at ease. Something exciting happened the first week of school… I GOT SAVED! I remember leading up to arrival week I would cry thinking, “How did I get into this school, I know my heart isn’t right with the Lord.” I was thinking something similar in the chapel on August 23rd when Brian White shared his testimony. I have never related to someone’s testimony so much.

For eighteen years I lived in constant fear of death because I understood the reality of what came after… and I wasn’t surrendered to Jesus Christ. Any time I felt like I was going to die (which seems dark I know), I would quickly pray a “salvation prayer” in hopes that would secure me a place in heaven. But deep down I knew the only thing I was surrendering to was my desires. Because of that conviction, Fall Bible Conference was an extremely difficult time for me. Sitting in that evening chapel, when Brian White did the altar call I knew what I needed to do… but I was too scared to do it. “What if I’m judged? What if I lose friendships? What if I lose the amazing opportunities I had received because I wasn’t a true believer before coming here?” These were just a few of the lies I was telling myself. So I stayed standing in my row watching. They called again and for some reason, I couldn’t move. I was so held back by my fears of what others would think or do if they saw me at my weakest. When they called a third time something Dr. White said stood out to me. He said, “If you’re not ready to walk down in front of three thousand people who are gonna cheer for you, then you’re not willing to surrender.” At that moment, I was confronted with an idol of my heart—my reputation. I spent the majority of my life caring more about other people’s views of me than how the Creator of Heaven and Earth saw me.

I don’t remember much of the walk down to the stage that night, just that my heart was pounding so hard I was sure someone could see it. I’m not one to be at a loss for words, (just ask anyone who knows me) but at that moment I was silenced. I realized I was hopeless on my own. My reputation (or status) would never be good enough. But, I also realized the gift of God and the true freedom that comes with trusting and repenting. I gave my life to the Lord and have been doing my best to walk that out ever since. It’s a little scary at college, there are so many things that I don’t know or understand but now I have an omnipotent God to trust and rely on. After that amazing high, I had my first low point of the semester. I bombed a quiz. All of a sudden that overwhelming feeling that I had when I first arrived on campus came back and I had a breakdown. I called my mom in a panic saying how I didn’t know if I could do this. Maybe I just needed to go home and pick a different career path. Anxiety is something I’ve always struggled with, and if I’m being honest, it’s something I’m still working on. But after a long talk and some thinking, I was reminded: You’re here for a reason.

I don’t know why God placed me at Cedarville University but I do know this, I want to use my time here wisely. I want to learn all I can while meeting and building as many friendships as possible. More importantly, I’m here to grow in my relationship and understanding of Jesus Christ, and learn how to serve him in all aspects of my life. 

Ben – Day 298

The first few weeks of school have been made up of some pretty incredible opportunities and also some pretty intense struggles. Being the lead in The Giver has been a wonderful blessing from God, but it’s also taken an immense amount of time and emotional strain. It’s also brought back some struggles with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy, so trying to fight those lies from the Devil while also trying to learn from my director and the other really talented actors around me has been a struggle. With the show opening next week, I’ve been really stressed with whether or not I’ll be able to get to where I need to be for it, as well as the balance of trying to work on the play while still maintaining academics. School has had to take a temporary backseat with everything else going on right now, and I am a bit worried about how long I can sustain that.

I’ve also been given the opportunity to serve as MuKappa secretary this semester, and that has been another case of a blessing and a struggle at the same time. Being able to apply the skills I’ve been learning in my communication classes to something I’m passionate about – and something I can serve in – like MuKappa has been such an honor, but it’s also taken a lot out of my social battery. Learning how to navigate previous friendships while trying to build new ones, working on reaching out to freshmen while also feeling like I’m partly losing the bonds that I have with my other friends, and staying up until 2 AM to work on org emails that I sometimes feel like no one reads hasn’t been a very fun time at all.

On top of this, I’ve also tried to maintain working at Stinger and Tossed one day a week, but most of my work comes from writing for Cedars. This year I’ve been able to keep my job working for the A&E section of Cedars, which means I’ve been reviewing movies and shows for them and I’ve absolutely loved it. I’m really passionate about film and storytelling as well as writing, so being able to get some money saved towards tuition from something I really enjoy has made me eternally grateful.

Overall, God has been extremely generous and faithful through all the ups and downs so far this semester. He’s given me the opportunity to be able to make new friends, ones that I’m extremely thankful for and can’t wait to further. He’s also given so many fun times with old friends already, from spectacularly failing Mission Impossible with MuKappa pals to watching new episodes of fantasy shows with my incredible roommate. He’s helped me maintain grades in spite of the craziness. He’s provided energy despite my sleep schedule kind of imploding on itself. He’s given me more than enough, as He often does, but there’s been many days where it’s been hard to see it. There have been days full of loneliness, days full of overthinking and second-guessing, days when I just don’t have the energy to get out and do the things I need. For the sake of being real and being vulnerable, I’ve already had one slight mental breakdown this semester, and I do worry about how sustainable this schedule I’ve made for myself will be. 

But He is good, always. If I have to drop something, if I have to live with a lower grade than I was hoping for on that exam, if I have to let go of dinners with friends to be able to put more into rehearsal, then I will. God has given so many incredible opportunities and blessings this year, and I want to be able to steward them well in all that I do. 

Joseph – Day 507

These first few weeks of the semester have been super busy, but also super fun. I actually came to campus a few weeks early to help out as a sting leader (shout out to sting group 43!) and that was an amazing experience. I had so much fun helping people move into their dorms and really enjoyed helping some freshmen get acclimated to campus life, not to mention moving in a week before anyone else makes everything so much easier. 

After my sting responsibilities I had a few days to get my school supplies and settle in before classes started! My first few weeks of classes went really well. At this point my classes are based more on learning some applications of the theory and foundations we have been building for the last two years. It’s honestly been a really refreshing experience and made me super excited for the rest of the semester. For the first 2 weeks I had little to no homework and while this may sound like a blessing, it really just made me feel like I was wasting my time. I had no idea what to do with myself. Luckily my 21st birthday happened during this short period of extra free time, and I went with a handful of friends to Young’s and got ice cream. That Saturday my parents and little brothers came up, took me out to get dinner and gave me some birthday presents. It was nice to get to see them again, even though it was only for a few hours.

Now my classes have gotten into full swing and I’m a bit more busy with homework, which has honestly made me feel more comfortable. 

Overall it has been a fantastic first few weeks of the semester and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me. I would like Philippians 4:6 to be a defining theme for this school year: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”

Serena – Day 773

I can’t believe it’s senior year! It feels like just yesterday was my getting started weekend, and now here we are! I always love the start of a new school year and all the possibilities that a fresh start brings (and the fact that I still have a small amount of motivation… LOL). It’s crazy to think that my next first day of school will be in my own classroom with my own students!

As far as school itself goes, my classes this semester have been enjoyable so far. We’ve done a lot of fun projects with activities we could do with our future students (we have everything on display in Apple 119). While education sometimes seems like it’s all fun and games, we’ve also been asking and thinking through some tough questions, such as, what do I do when I have a student in my class who can’t regulate their own emotions and becomes violent when they get upset? While things like this are hard to think through and the prospect of a new field placement brings new challenges to deal with, I’m thankful for the opportunity to apply what we learn in a classroom with real students while we’re still in a college setting with professors we can turn to for guidance.

Now that senior year has arrived, the fear of missing out is starting to hit hard. People always say that “college is the best four years of your life,” and while there have definitely been enjoyable parts of college, it hasn’t exactly turned out to be all that I thought it would – freshman year was cut short by covid, sophomore year I was dealing with some of the worst anxiety I’d had in a while, and junior year was my toughest year academically so far. I can’t help but worry about how in a year from now everything will be different – I’ll (probably) have a full-time teaching job, be making plans to move out, and doing all sorts of other things that “adulting”entails. While it’s so easy to get caught up in worry and fear of the future, I’m doing my best to be present and enjoy the here and now rather than let myself be consumed with worry, for “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27)