The instant I finished filling out the online Loan Entrance Interview, my mom and I hurried toward the front door of the Admin building. “They want me to wait at the front door,” she said.

She had flown out to Portland to help get me moved in and set up for college. We had enjoyed the last few days. Besides taking care of financial arrangements, we trekked through wintry weather to buy supplies. At the hotel, we ordered pizza and watched a marathon of Bonanza reruns. She helped me to settle into my new dorm room and spent that last night in a guest room downstairs. Now the day had come.

“I hate that I had to fill that out right before…” I lamented.

She agreed. “I know.”

When we reached the door, at the end of the walk sat a yellow taxi. I started to cry the instant I hugged my mom, especially because she really started to cry. It was just too terrible.

After a short while, she looked up and said, “You’ll do well.”

“Call me today-tomorrow,” she said.

She hurried to the waiting taxi; once inside, she rolled down the back window.

“Please keep her safe,” I prayed, waving as the taxi rolled down the street. Before long, she was out of sight. Wind was icy. Tiny snowflakes swirled.

I hurried back to the dorm, up to my room and got stuff ready to go to the empty lounge for a mug of hot chocolate.

When I opened the door to the lounge, more than a dozen girls were seated on the floor and chairs, everywhere. It sounded like they were watching a movie. Heads turned to look.

Smiling, I closed the door and returned to my room.

For a shy, small-town introvert, the new adventure was terrifying; I faced so many challenges. But I couldn’t see until they actually arrived the wonderful things God had in store – for that night, that week and the seven semesters I spent out there.

Sometimes the most adventurous, beautiful, growing and fruitful times in our lives come about when God brings us outside our comfort zones. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it if we trust in Him.

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of Your hands. ~ Psalm 138:8