If you had told 15 year old Ruth Anne that she would be 23 without a husband much less that she would have yet to go on her first date she probably would have laughed in your face and then started crying because she had this idealized version of life that would included meeting a guy sometime first semester freshmen year that she would date all through college. She was going to be one of those spring by ring girls with the white candle ceremony for her sorority before graduation and the fairytale wedding sometime in fall of 2013. But sometimes, our plans are not God’s plans. I headed to Samford with my head high and dreams in my heart, some that would come true but many that wouldn’t.
I was the girl that knew everything about rush and was fully prepared for the crazy weekend but I wasn’t prepared when my Rho Gamma, Caroline, showed up in my room that Sunday morning to tell me I had been released from recruitment. It was a sucker punch to the gut and my dreams of being in a sorority crumbled around me as I drove to meet friends for lunch. The second sucker punch came when I was invited to spring rush for one of the sororities. I thought that door was closed and didn’t understand was God was doing but participated with mindset of whatever happens, this is what God wants and was not extended a bid. I was upset but not nearly as upset as I had been during fall rush. Being a sorority was something that I had always assumed would be part of my college story and I had problems dealing with every year. I seriously considered rushing as a senior but knew that wasn’t a wise decision plus I had waited too late to warn my friends. So, instead, I made rush care packages for my closest friends and avoided campus as much as possible the Tuesday after bid day, forever the hardest day. One of the biggest things I craved from Greek life was getting a little but I decided to take that into my own hands after getting coffee with my dear friend Melissa. I told her my rush story and how I wanted a little and she told me that would be my little. She was in a sorority and I wanted an independent little as well. One of friend’s roommate, Natalie, had been dropped from rush so I chose her to be able to help her through what had been so difficult for me. God knew what he was doing when he placed the two of them in my life because my college experience would have so different without them.
I came to step sing with Mrs. Pam when I was senior in high school and fell in love. I met two girls who I had been talking to on Facebook and we ended up sitting together for the second half. Ben and Meredith said, “We’ll see you at step sing 2010” and we all screamed that we were going to be in it. So, when step sing sign-ups rolled around, I was ready—well or I thought I was. Jackie and I planned to get there at 3:30am for 7:30am sign-ups but one girl started it and by midnight there were 63 freshmen girls camped out in Harry’s…the exact number for a full show. Jackie and I made the decision to still go at 3:30 and was #2 on the waiting list. They tried to do another freshman girls show with the lottery system sign up but no one understood how it worked and the other girls had waited for their spots and we thought we should have been able to do the same so it didn’t happen. There was supposed to be new show and Jackie and I got spots only to have it be canceled over JanTerm. I panicked because I had to do step sing so I emailed the director of every show I could be in and the first day of class as I was sitting in CP when a number I didn’t know popped up on my phone. They left a voicemail and I also had a email from the director of University Ministries saying there was spot for me if I wanted it and I readily accepted it. I walked into Shades Valley Community Church that Monday in late January and meet people I would spend the next three weeks getting to know, most of whom I had never met. I wouldn’t trade those friendships for anything.
I had a plan about my major and what I was going to do with my life when I started at Samford. I was going to graduate Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) degree with print concentration and go work at a magazine to get my name out there so I could be a published fiction author. But over the course of 2010, I planned a girls event for church and God began to change my heart. I fell in love with event planning and was reminded of the calling God placed on my life as a sixth grader. Through of this I decided to consider seminary when I graduated and began to debate whether or not my major was right for seminary because I was sure that it was pretty much a requirement to have a religion degree or something that would be more useful. The funny thing is, I never considered changing my major to religion and my short list was staying JMC or switching to either psychology or English. English quickly got knocked out of the running and I picked up my Christian Women’s Leadership minor. So, I spent from January 2010-January 2011 debating whether or not I was going to change my major. One night at Passion 2011, they played the world tour video, a girl come pray over us in Chinese, and a Brazilian artist sing “God of this City” in Portuguese. I prayed and told the Lord I want that and said “you can have it.” Because of that, I decided to stay a journalism major so that I would know to write a press release, shoot a video, and run a website so that I could do it myself, at least at first. I declared a psychology minor and signed up for JMC classes for the fall of my junior year. Now, I’m a year in my seminary degree and I can’t imagine having a different degree or minors.
15 year old Ruth Anne thought that she would go to college, meet the man of her dreams, get married, get a job at a magazine, and life would be perfect. But life isn’t perfect, life is never perfect. I didn’t meet the man of my dreams and I’m not married but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. My dreams changed, I still want to be writer–more than anything I want to be a writer–but I’m following the calling the Lord placed on my life as sixth grader and pursuing ministry and seeing how my writing fits in with that. My life isn’t perfect but it’s pretty great—most days.