Missing Something

emily-norgaardHi, my name is Emily Norgaard, and I’m a sophomore. This is my first year at UMD; I transferred from a Christian university. I transferred for a number of reasons:  It was small, expensive, and it had its own little “bubble”.  Though the community was amazing there, and it was really great to be constantly surrounded by fellow Christian students and faculty, I felt something was missing, and I didn’t feel at peace about being there. I realized that though the community at the Christian college is great, there is no opportunity for either sharing or growing more in my faith; I felt like I had reached a point where I was no longer growing and was just going through the motions of a “good Christian”. I wasn’t being challenged enough. After a lot of prayer, and some tugging on my heart from God, I decided that I needed to transfer to a non-Christian university, where my faith would be challenged and become stronger. Since UMD had been my first choice, I decided that would be where I went next. And I was right – it was definitely a lot more challenging. But I got hooked up right away with Intervarsity and knew I was where God wanted me to be. I finally felt at peace with my decision.

But then came that tugging again as soon as I heard about Cross training. I went back and forth so many times about whether or not I was going to sign up, as I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for it. But I knew God really wanted me to go, and by His grace I was able to register (even though it was only a couple days ahead of time!). I was in the “On Campus, On Purpose” track, where we learned about being intentional both with our time and sharing our faith with others. It was perfect for me, as it talked about exactly what I felt I had been missing, and I got some really good tools for witnessing on campus. Something we talked about that really hit home for me was how we spend our time…I have never been good about being intentional with my time, and I’m usually trying to fill every second with something so I don’t have a spare minute, which really helps with my procrastination (at which I am a pro). But God really spoke to me that weekend about how not only does HE want to spend some alone time with ME, but I should CRAVE that time. He told me to slow my life down and get my priorities straight. I came to UMD to strengthen my faith, but God reminded me that one of the best ways to do that was to take time out of my busy life to just be with Him, and study His word. In my track I also got some good tools and ideas for different ways to spend my alone times with God.

The biggest thing I missed about the Christian college is the community I was surrounded with, of a lot of great people who care. But I was able to get that same community when I got involved in InterVarsity, and more specifically, in a witnessing community. It’s been a really important part of my week to be able to get together with my group and just unload all the stress I’m under, and to know I’m in a group of girls who actually care about what I’m going through. If you haven’t gotten involved with a group yet, please let someone know so we can help find one that works for you!

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Transformation stories from the campus