Bella Erazo

Day 28: Receiving Salvation

In this episode, we meet Bella Erazo—the freshman of the cast. She discusses how the first two weeks of college classes have been and the new friendships she’s making. Most importantly, Bella gives us insight into her brand-new eternal relationship with Christ. She just got saved!

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. 

Day 41: Academic Troubles and Fighting Homesickness

In her fifth week, Bella dives into the massive changes that come with the beginning of a college career. From learning how to ward off procrastination to living life without her family, Bella discovers several methods to help her adjust to her new situation. 

I’m not gonna lie, these past few days have been a little stressful. The semester is starting to get heavier and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. In high school, I was always the student to only study the day before a test and then perform well. It was a bit of a rude awakening when I tried to do that here. I recently took my first exam and let’s just say… I am a little disappointed in myself. I knew college was harder than high school, but I guess I did not anticipate how heavy the workload was going to be. It was a little discouraging to see myself not do as well as I had thought. I’m also starting to miss my family a lot. I’ve always been very close with them, and lately, I’ve been feeling distant. I miss my sister a lot. Both of us are starting to get busy schedules, so there hasn’t been as much time to call. That has been hard because I do miss spending time with her. Recently, I got to facetime my niece and nephews which ended up being a lot sadder than I expected. When I left my youngest nephew (who is one and a half) was still figuring out how to talk. Now he can say full words, he even says my name. This is the sweetest thing ever, don’t get me wrong, but it made me realize that I am missing a lot of them growing up. I understand that my being here is a big part of my maturing, but it still is sad to think about the people I love back home. In a nutshell, I’m starting to feel a bit homesick. It is kinda a scary thought, letting go of childhood and embracing something new. I know the point of college is to grow, but growing up can be uncomfortable. A new chapter in my life is beginning, and I’m excited about everything that comes with that. But it can also be a lot to take in. I trust that God is in control, but that is a lot easier to say than to act out. Lately, I’ve just been working on devoting moments throughout the day to spending time with the Lord. I haven’t always been perfect at it, but I’ve realized the more I do it the less overwhelmed I feel.

Day 56: The Value of People

Bella took a quick trip home for the weekend to visit her family despite recommendations from friends to stay at Cedarville. She explains how important her family is to her while affirming the friendships that are still growing at her second home. People have value, and Bella tries to see that in every moment. 

It’s almost fall break! I’m so excited to see my family and take a break from school! I love this place, no doubt, but lately, the weight of midterms has just been getting to me (I feel like I’m saying that school is stressful every week). Luckily, I was able to go back home last weekend. That was very refreshing! I was a little nervous about heading home though. I hear a lot of advice from upperclassmen saying to try to head home as little as possible to focus on the relationships you are creating on campus. While I one hundred percent agree with this advice, I’m so glad that I decided to take the trip. In a way, I feel like going home prepared me for the week to come.

Midterms are coming up soon and there isn’t anything more comforting (to me at least) than a hug from my mom. I also was worried that going back to Indiana was going to make me not want to come back here. But in reality, going home made me more excited to come back to Cedarville. It was genuinely such a joy to be surrounded by my family. I noticed I was more present with my family because time with them (in person) was limited. I got to watch some movies and get coffee with my little sister, go thrifting with my mom, and even get some really good advice from my dad. I also got to visit my niece and nephews which was a highlight of the trip! We played a few card games which were way too intense. I did not know they were going to be so good at the game! As I was leaving to head back to Cedarville my mom said something that made me laugh. She said, “Be safe and text me when you get home.” That made me happy because in a way I am starting to think of Cedarville as my home. It is very different, for sure, but the relationships I’ve made here are starting to feel like family.

Going back to the midterm week though, I feel a little stressed out! One of the many things I’ve been struggling with here at Cedarville is my schedule. It is all over the place. I hardly know what day of the week it is. That is the main reason I am so stressed, I spend my time on the wrong things and end up feeling behind. Moving forward though, I decided to start seeking some advice from people around me who are a little more mature in this area (now to just actually put their advice into practice).  I tend to talk very fast, and I feel like it is a reflection of what exactly goes on inside my head. One thing the Lord has been teaching me recently is to just rest with Him for a minute. I’ve talked about this a few times before on the podcast but taking those moments every day to just be with the Lord. A verse that has helped me remember this is Psalm 46:10. I have a lot of projects coming up and they tend to overwhelm me. I am very new to my major and so I can get all up in my head and convince myself I’m the only person who doesn’t understand what is going on. But every time I’ve started to get overwhelmed the Lord has placed someone in my life to come alongside me. Whether that is just having someone remind me to rely on Him and be an encouragement or even offer to help me and teach me a little more about the major. I’m so grateful for all the wise and knowledgeable people the Lord has placed around me!

Day 70: Learning to Enjoy Life

Bella’s last two weeks were filled with multiple events! Fall break, bringing her sister to campus, improvements in Biology, and a bit of an embarrassing moment at Tossed. Needless to say, Bella is still living a very full life at Cedarville.

This last week has been a little stressful. I just was on fall break, which was very relaxing, but coming back to school was a little harder than I thought. Over my break, I visited home and it wasn’t very eventful. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to be home and caught up on some sleep, but coming back to a routine was a little tricky. I was lucky enough to bring my little sister back with me. She hopes to be a Cedarville student herself after she graduates and that was a blast! Sunday night I told her we had to get up early to get ready for my 9 AM. Monday morning rolls around and I wake up to my alarm. I completely forgot why I had set an alarm (thank you fall break) so I just turned it off and fell back asleep. My sister was the one to wake me up a little after 9 and said “aren’t we supposed to be in a class right now?” Needless to say, I missed my Monday morning class (sorry Professor Clark). That was a bit of a bummer because I hate to have missed a class, but the rest of the week was so much fun! I got to take my sister to a few classes and introduce her to all my friends. She fell in love with this place! Which was a cool thing for us to share, and maybe one day we can attend Cedarville together. I was also very lucky that she and my roommate became friends. So they got to hang out and bond a little as well! I’m gonna miss having her around campus, for sure, but I do need to start focusing on school again. A little update about that… This Module of Biology is making sense! That’s very nice because even though I’m still gonna apply myself as much as possible I like knowing I’m not doing it for anything. On a lighter note… there have been lots of embarrassing encounters these last few weeks though! I usually am not one to get too socially embarrassed but lately, it has been one awkward encounter after the other. I work at Tossed, and I’m usually the wrapper because I like to talk to customers. I had met one customer, who coincidentally happened to work there as well. We started a conversation and a few days later I saw him while coming out of the ENS. I feel comfortable enough to say hi, so I yell “hi guy from tossed!” I didn’t quite catch his name (which is embarrassing enough) but all of a sudden, the door comes slamming in my face. Not only did the door hit my forehead but I then got caught in between the door and the wall. Luckily, he laughed nicely but it was one of the more embarrassing encounters I’ve had so far on campus. It was right after my Bio Mid-term, so it was quite funny and a nice way to laugh out my stress. So in a way, I’m thankful but hopefully, I will not be catching any more doors. 

Day 84: Smart Decisions

Bella gives us a look into her most recent exam, her new endeavors at the gym, and her courageous decision to begin counseling at CU. 

This week has been stressful. We had Biology exam 3 and I think I finally did well. It was funny because the whole time I knew each answer. Like I didn’t have to guess or reread the questions a few times. It’s funny though because maybe I was just over confident. But for the first time I feel so so good about the exam. I guess we’ll figure out if it’s false confidence or not when I get my grades back.

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving break though! My entire family is coming over to our house to celebrate and I just miss everyone so much. I’m also bringing a friend back to celebrate with us. She isn’t able to go back to her family for Thanksgiving so she is getting to join ours! I’m just not excited for the drive.

On an exciting note, my roommate and I have started to go to the gym. It’s been a lot of fun. Like I’ve said previously, I have a lot of energy and need to expel it. So going to the gym with her has been a really good stress relief. Her sister is actually a personal trainer so she has a lot of knowledge about what to do, and how to do it properly, which is good for me cause I know very little about it all. Now to just make it through this next week.