I am delighted to welcome Halle Van Vark to the BeBoldGirl series. She joins us with her #BeBoldGirl story and challenges us to follow where God leads, even when it doesn’t fit into our own plans. Welcome, Halle!
Going into my senior year of high school, I had my life figured out. It was a really good plan, too. When people asked me about my plans after high school, I was pretty confident telling them I was going to school in Nashville and intended to study youth ministry. I was pumped, too, because everyone who knows me knows I love few things more than country music. They all probably also know I have zero musical talent. But, that’s beside the point. I was going to college in the Music City, where I could be surrounded by good music all the time.
Of course, God had other plans for me.
Towards the end of my first semester of senior year, I did an in depth research paper on dreams. For this assignment, I met with someone from my church who taught a class on hearing the voice of God through dreams. Shortly after, I had a dream that I was at school in a small town in Iowa (a very similar town to what I grew up in). Written in graffiti on the wall at the college were the words “You Belong Here.” I woke up and applied to the college.
I was scared, though. While the thought of being closer to home was nice, one of my biggest fears was being stuck. I have a strong sense of adventure flowing through me and I wanted nothing more than to experience a life different than the past 18 years had been. I wanted country music and southern hospitality.
A few weeks later, I went on a visit to the college, about four hours from my home. When I got there and met with the sweetest lady, who was a part of the admission department, the first thing she said to me was, “I’m not really sure why, but I just feel like you belong here.” Ok, God, I see you.
I knew I had to listen to what God was saying. While I wasn’t quite getting my adventurous dream, I had no doubt in my mind that I would be much happier if I obeyed what God was telling me to do. It didn’t take long for me make my decision, but that didn’t mean it was easy.
Have you ever had that experience? You know, the one when God’s plan doesn’t match up with your own? That was me. Sometimes, listening to God is really, really hard. What He was telling me to do was not what I wanted.
But, y’all, let me tell you this: the reward is great!! I am loving my small town Iowa life. Don’t get me wrong, I for sure still have times that I look at pictures of Nashville and wish I was there. Still, my life here is so sweet. I have the best friends in the world. I kid you not, they’re the goofiest, most genuine, kindest, funniest squad you’ll ever meet. I don’t know what in the world I did to deserve them, but I praise God for them every day. On top of that, I’m getting a very good education where I feel so valued. Each day, I am being equipped to love God’s people better and it’s so exciting.
Anyway, my point is not to tell you how good my life is. It is to tell you that if you seek and listen to God’s plan, things are going to turn out so sweet in the long run. Obeying God is always worth whatever you feel like you’re giving up, because our God is good and He is faithful.
Halle is an aspiring photographer & full time student in small town Iowa. She’s studying youth ministry & dreaming of becoming a high school youth pastor. She’s a fan of baseball, crafting, country music, and ice cream. You can get to know her more on her blog or Instagram as @halleomalley.