When I was not yet 18 years old, I was headed to college 12 hours away from home. I was excited about this. Not that I had not enjoyed my super secure home life with Mom, Dad, 3 older siblings, and one younger sibling, but I had this idea that I was headed somewhere where all would be right — peaceful and orderly. Up until that time, as I told Mom some time before my leaving home, I had only had real conflict with my siblings, and they wouldn’t be there. I could not imagine that I would not get along very well with roommates, classmates, and other friends. Yes, I was in for an awakening. Yes, I was naive. And I had been to public school K-12! My home-educated 17 year old son is more ‘woke’ (forgive me) than I was at that time.
I was headed to a Christian college. And here is the other element of my excitement and ultimate rude awakening. At 17 I just knew I was going to be around real, mature Christians (expectations including fellow students, faculty, administration, and whatever local church I would choose to attend). There would not be the squabbles that I personally witnessed and those I would hear from my parents, my dad being a regular attender of the ‘Men’s Business Meetings’, serving at various times as ‘Duty Roster’ maker (rooster would always come to mind when I heard Dad say that word), Treasurer (which involved typing those Financial Reports on his manual typewriter from the 40s — on which I also typed many a school term paper), and as an Elder of the church. I don’t know what all was going on in my teen-ager mind with trying to understand why these Christians, who were reading the same Bible I was, who had been baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, receiving the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit’, and living a new life, as I had 6 weeks before my 11th birthday, were acting as they were; but somehow I determined that the folks I would meet, live with, study under at that college in Tennessee would be different — more mature, more honest, more patient, and know how to argue a point without nearly descending into fisticuffs — oh, and getting mad and stomping off to join another group. Once again, I had my little eyes opened.
So there you have it. Kay at 17 about to begin, what has turned out so far to be, her next 42 years around many blocks of various sizes and styles. Always learning. Always growing.