Exciting-New-Beginnings_smSeptember is always an exciting time to be at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. By this point all the boxes are unpacked, the syllabi have been handed out and the routine of a new day-to-day life is starting to kick in. Everything is still new, and the hope of the semester to come still sits ready to be explored.

Every year the distance between who I am and who I was when I was a student here at UMHB grows greater. In spite of that, I still remember the excitement that accompanied a new year. In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord reminds us that He knows the plans He has for us. Those plans are to benefit us and not be to our detriment. New seasons of life, exciting though they may be, can sometimes be stressful or scary.

We can take solace in the fact that the God of creation, the one who orchestrated everything from the rotation of the planets around the sun down to the tiniest details of unicellular organisms, orchestrates our steps as well. You are where you are for a reason. We have hope in that.

Several years ago the university adopted a new slogan—“Education for life, experience of a lifetime.” At first glance this may honestly seem like a PR mechanism. It’s a short, catchy slogan to put on websites and letterheads, but there is so much truth in it! I am blessed to have two degrees from UMHB. I have a Bachelor of Christian Ministry and a Master of Education. Sure, I can still tell you things I learned in Dr. Martin’s class on the latter Pauline epistles (though I don’t remember much Hebrew, sorry Dr. Wyrick!) and I can recall things I learned in School Finance with Dr. Hendricks. The education I received set me up for life, but the experience I had here will be something I keep with me forever. Being a student at UMHB means much more than attending classes with some of the finest educators in the country. It means being a part of tradition. It means being more than just a number. It means building life-long relationships that will continue to shape you and grow you long after you’ve been handed your degree.

My first days at UMHB were spent in Welcome Week, a yearly tradition that welcomes new students to UMHB. To this day, I still have strong connections to some of the people that were in my Welcome Week family group that year. I say all of this to say, God has a reason for everything. There are no mistakes in His plan! Whether you are reading this as a new student, old student, faculty, staff, parent, visitor, or whatever, know that God has a plan for you and that God has you where you are for a reason. Take time to experience all that He has for you. Even the seemingly little things add up to be great!