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It's Been Real, Liberty University



Earlier this week I posted about an opportunity that was presented to me. It challenged me to check my motives for prayer and obedience. Was I emphasizing prayer so I can get what I want? If so, is that so bad? Was I putting my requests to God ahead of my praise to God? Was that the enemy trying to fog my mind so I wouldn't see clearly where God was leading? So many questions. And yet through the mistiest of times, Father God is our light, our guide, and our provider. God's goodness isn't diminished in our dark times, nor are His attributes less beautiful when we hurt. So I was prepared to praise Him regardless of the turn out. Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no. But both answers are infused with the truth that he says, "you are my child."

This time, I celebrate, was a yes.

So it is with a bittersweet tone and a posture of gratitude that I have submitted my resignation to Liberty University, as I have accepted a generous offer from the Christian Broadcasting Network in Washington D.C.

For a while now I've had a heart for Washington. If I could land a job in media there that would be prime but I knew that was a lot to ask considering the competition. D.C. is one city and people from all over the country are pursuing "the dream" there. God has shown me favor since I know that I am one of many qualified and certainly not the most qualified.

For the conspiracy theorists out there, don't waste your breath. My resignation is wholly transitional following a long pursuit of a media career in Washington.

But this move stirs a large pot of emotions.

O Liberty University...I feel like I've poured my heart and soul into this place. I came here to pursue a master's degree (but somehow got recognition for being an "LU Crushes Troll King") and after two semesters God had other plans (such a Christianese throb of ambiguity lol). When I was hired to be a National Recruiter in Fall 2014 I had no idea what was actually ahead. But over 20 states, 400 events, many laughs, few tears, being summoned to the human resources department for writing a satire blog about Justin Bieber enrolling at Liberty (LOL), 4 CFAW buses, 10 CFAWs, and countless hours driving by myself philosophizing the most mundane topics, it is time to move on. Among many memories as a recruiter were the testimonies that I heard from students. When you're on a CFAW bus for 17-23 hours with approximately 50 high school students, there's bound to be a weary soul near. It was the 2am wake up calls when a troubled student needed to pour themselves out that I'll remember richly. Issues at home, issues with their faith, issues with what's going on in the world...those conversations are some I will not soon forget.

I've also been blessed with an amazing team of fellow recruiters who love the Lord, love Liberty, and are very very loud. I can't count on both hands how many times we ticked off the admissions counselors when we all congregated after our travels. Give us a break, it had likely been a while since we had seen each other.

So as I depart I want to leave some thoughts with the students and staff of this fantastic institution:

For the students,

If you're at Liberty simply to get a degree, you're wasting your money. A degree is but a bi-product of the holistic experience one can attain here. A degree is a tangible goal but spiritual development, memories, and lifelong community is an investment that dwarfs even the burden of paying back your student loans (you'll believe me eventually.)

Read God's Word and pray every day.

Don't be afraid to grow.

Don't be afraid to choose the wrong major, you'll figure it out eventually.

Go on a missions trip.

Read God's Word and pray every day.

The dorms are nice, but get out as much as you can.

Hike sharp top.

Get involved in a local church.

Don't complain about being "forced" to go to Convo. Instead appreciate the experience that no other Christian university offers.

Call your parents. Often.

Don't gossip. When you do, remember that you're gossiping about someone who God made in His image. Instead, when you're tempted to gossip, say something nice about that person. That is more healthy for the individual of interest, those around you, and for yourself.

Take pictures.

Be intentional with your friends.

Drink coffee, and do so at the many local coffee shops Lynchburg has.

Read God's Word and pray every day.

Create a meme making fun of David Nasser. He makes fun of himself, you can get away with it.

Get involved in a club.

Watch a football game.

Seek reconciliation with tarnished friendships. Don't allow conflict to invest itself among you. Failure to repent, re-engage, forgive, and love each other will only create a platform for sustained division- which is the enemy's best strategy for taking down the Church.

Read God's Word and pray every day.

Guys, don't ask a girl on a date and then take her to the ROT.

Girls, if a guy does that just hope he's putting the money he would have spent elsehwere in an IRA or somewhere that will accumulate compound interest ($20 over 20 years can grow to about $115 in a good growth stock mutual fund, just sayin')

Enjoy this time and always walk in a way as if you're the only Christ someone may see.

For the faculty and staff,

You are looked at much more than you may realize. You aren't a teacher or administrator alone, but you are seen as a mentor and must serve in a way that far surpasses that of an academic. You are advocates for the Kingdom of God and will be expected by your students to serve as such. You know this, but I hope this is an encouragement (and perhaps a challenge) to continue allowing God to use you as a vessel for His glory. You teach English or Science for a degree, but you are investing in those who will serve as ambassadors for Christ in their respected vocations. That is a responsibility worthy of much recognition. Thank you for your service to the Kingdom. Also, read God's Word and pray every day.

For the writers,

Keep writing. Also, read. Reading is the most effective way to be come a better writer. You learn to communicate creatively, you build your vocabulary, and you become more informative the more you read. Read, and then you'll have more to write about.

It's been real, Liberty University.

-JWR


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