The phone call came exactly fourteen days ago, now. It was her first day college. Thousands of miles away from home for the very first time in her life—and in mine—she had already been housed in her dorm room for nearly two weeks when my phone rang. She’d successfully unpacked her belongings in what is now her new “home”, navigated rush parties, pledged a sorority, become acquainted with her roommate (who is thankfully, darling), chosen classes, purchased books and seen more drunk people in one week than she’s seen in the past four years.
Oh yeah. So now I remember college.
All it took was one word for me to know all was not right in her world.
“I’m completely overwhelmed! And I haven’t met even one person who really wants to follow God here. Why does everyone say college is the best time of your life if it’s like this?
If you’re a mom—or if you’re a good friend, sister or daughter—you know the drill when someone you love is hurting, lonely and overwhelmed. You listen. You encourage. You assure them that they are completely normal. You remind them that every one of life’s transitions takes time to navigate. You offer your best advice.
And then you pray. Like crazy.
In the midst of our conversation I reminded Ashton of something she said to me only a week prior. She’d made the comment casually, as if it were almost a throw away statement, but it literally stopped me in my tracks because of the insight embedded in her words.
“I think I might be depending on finding Christians instead of depending on finding Christ”.
Even days after she made the comment, I couldn’t get their significance out of my mind. So after listening, encouraging and reminding her of how completely normal she is, I made one suggestion: Get out of your dorm room and into the sunshine, grab your Bible, find a beautiful spot under one of the massive oak trees that line your campus, and spend time with God (for the record, I also reminded her to get enough sleep, exercise, and to realize she was also probably dealing with a massive case of PMS). Once a mom, always a mom.
We hung up and I prayed for the sweet girl who stole my heart 18 years ago.
But you know how phone calls go—you don’t get to see what actually happens after a conversation ends. I wondered if my words and my prayers would make any difference in her day.
As it turns out she said yes to my suggestions. Or rather, she said yes to God. And then an even bigger blessing occurred—someone else also said “yes” to God. A normally reserved sophomore stepped out of her comfort zone and approached my daughter. Here is the exact text I received two hours after Ashton and I hung up the phone:
“Literally, God is so good to me. I sat in the quad and had a quiet time and a girl approached me afterward and was like “Hi, I see you’re reading your Bible and I’m involved with the Church of the Highlands and there’s a meeting tonight at 8 if you wanna come. We exchanged numbers and she’s starting a Bible study…Literally God is so unbelievably real and active here.”
I cried big, grateful, mom-size tears as I read her text.
The past few weeks I’ve been re-reading a book called “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Proverbs 31 president, Lysa Terkuerst. Lysa’s premise is that women who step out in obedience and make a decision to say “yes” to God open the door for a life a blessings which can never be known to the woman who tells God “no”.
And I agree.
But in reading the book I’ve come to realize there’s more. Much more. Not only am I blessed if I say yes to God, but I’m equally as blessed when other gals say yes to God. And so are those I love.
A shy college sophomore I don’t even know taught me how eternally significant one act of obedience can be. Oh God, may I also be a woman who says yes to You.