CBC Student Alumni Story
CBC Student Alumni Story
I began my college search very early on in my high school career, and if you would’ve told me when I was a freshman in high school that I’d eventually end up being a freshman at Central Baptist College in Conway, Arkansas, well, I’d look at you like you were crazy. I’m an Illinois native and I had big plans to stay within the boundaries of my home state for the duration of my college career. But isn’t it amazing to reflect and look back at how you planned your life and compare it to the ways that God reveals Himself and carries out what’s even greater than anything you were capable of putting into action yourself?
My journey to becoming a mustang really began during my senior year. I had heard about CBC from the SOAR Conference I had attended several times prior to the beginning of my college application process. Even though I grew up in the public school system my entire life, my value of a Christian education versus a more liberal one is what pushed me to apply. At the time, I was an aspiring mental health counselor looking to major in psychology and counseling. I knew of CBC’s strong undergraduate department for those looking to reach the same goals as I, so applying seemed like a no brainer. It was the decision to go that was what gave me trouble.
The easy choice to make would’ve been to stay in state and go to my chosen school that was a mere three hours away compared to the ten hour drive that I would be making to and from CBC’s campus. But God rarely asks us to take the easy way out. I feel like anyone, no matter where they are in their walk with the Lord, can attest to the fact that God likes making us uncomfortable. It’s how we learn, grow, and realize that we are weak individuals that need a loving and gracious God to experience the purest forms of joy, love, and fulfillment. God delights in making us uncomfortable because He loves us and wants us to cling to Him. We weren’t designed to stay in one place forever; we move because He moves us and if we’re obedient, we’re moved to glory.
I knew God was pulling me to CBC. I tried to fight it (even though I didn’t have any solidifying reasons to stay in Illinois besides being in close proximity to my family), but lost the fight. I lost that battle hard, but I’m so glad I did. I was welcomed to CBC by everyone who was a part of the campus with open arms. As a naturally shy and reserved person, I was nervous to be so far from home. The adjustment process wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t imagine kick starting my college career anywhere else. I had always heard that being a student at CBC was a family affair, and when I met my professors who knew me by name and bonded with my classmates in Dickson Hall, I realized how true that is. I took a risk in choosing CBC based on what I had heard about the importance of community and fellowship within the atmosphere of the school, and it was a risk well worth it.
As I said earlier, God likes calling us to the uncomfortable. So when I felt the tug on my heart to move, I couldn’t resist. It was another battle between my selfish heart and my yearning to be obedient that I was fighting hard. I did not have plans to cut my time at CBC short. I wanted to walk with my bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling, but this past May, I walked across the stage with an Associate of Arts in General Education – Science. My calling to the medical field and change to a biology major my freshman year gave me enough credits to walk with a specialized general education degree in science, which moved me to look into physical therapy and the idea of transferring.
I decided to take a leap of faith and transfer to Baylor University in order to get a specialized undergraduate degree in pre-physical therapy that only Baylor offers, as well as minor in nutritional science. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but like my shift to CBC, everything with Baylor seemed to fall perfectly into place, and I had no reason to fight it besides how comfortable I was as a mustang. I was a dedicated member of CBC’s cross country team and was looking forward to my final season, I was on track to graduate on time, and I had internship opportunities coming my way. But when I stepped back, held God’s hand, and put everything into perspective, I knew transferring was the right decision to make, thus leading to my graduation in May.
It was important to me that I graduated with some kind of degree from CBC instead of simply transferring out so that I could remain a part of the alumni community. I left CBC with lifelong friendships, a stronger work ethic, a more dedicated spiritual life, and have realized the importance of people and how loving them well means loving God well. As cliche as it may sound, I met my closest friends at CBC and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am so grateful that God loves me so well that He ruins plans because what He has in store for His children is always better. I began my journey in fall 2015, and as of May 2018, I am a Central Baptist College alum. I find so much joy in saying that, and will always look back at my time at CBC with a grateful heart. Thank you, God, for leading me to CBC and for the major role that campus has played in my life!