I became a Seventh-day Adventist in February 2008 at the age of 22. Not knowing any Adventists my age, I struggled with loneliness and depression. I prayed for God to show me where to go and to reveal His plan for my life. He listened.
God led me to a Friday night Bible study group at Grand Valley State University, not far from my home in Belding, Michigan. The experience was the highlight of my week! I couldn't wait to enjoy the fellowship and learn from the example of other students who shared the same love for Jesus.
There I learned about a winter retreat at Camp Au Sable. Hoping to build relationships with other Adventist students, I went. That is where I met an Andrews University student who told me of the school's wonderful mission opportunities. After looking into the programs, careful consideration and prayer, I made an appointment to visit Andrews.
As the visiting date grew near, my faith became shaky. The education was expensive, and as a transferring senior I wasn't sure if Andrews would allow me to graduate after one school year. Seeking encouragement, I called Gisela Knowlton, a member of the Ionia Adventist Church whom I refer to as "Mom," and asked her to come along.
After arriving at Andrews, the visit was less than promising. I would have to pay more money than expected, jobs were not guaranteed, and it wasn't clear if I could graduate in one year with a major in French and Spanish.
I spoke with the chair of the Department of International Language Studies and everything began to fall into place. I would be able to graduate in one year, and God would provide scholarship and financial aid to cover tuition cost! But the miracles didn't stop there.
To graduate on time, I needed to attend summer school, possibly by spending a few months at the Adventist university in France. But I needed money for that, so I applied for a private student loan and prayed that if it was God's will, He would help me get approval.
The loan was rejected. Though disappointed, I continued to pray about where I should be. Two weeks went by until the day arrived when I received a phone call from my former college.
"Hi, Jessica. This is Darcy from the Financial Aid office at Aquinas College. We're just calling to let you know that we have a check here for you," she said. Their records showed I had applied for a loan, and the approval letter and check had arrived in that day's mail.
I spent the summer in France and witnessed God working through me in many ways. Since then, I have been studying at Andrews, and the evidence of God has been overwhelming—from finding a roommate to placement tests and jobs, not a day goes by without a small miracle from Him. I know He is leading me, and He is a God who can be trusted.
Jessica Lillie lives in Belding, Michigan. She is a senior at Andrews University pursuing a double major in French and Spanish.