A Rebuttal

As I was scrolling through Facebook today, an article posted on my timeline really caught my attention. The title of the article was “Why ‘Classy’ is the Real C-Word.” After seeing the title, I immediately opened the article. I had not looked to see what blog the article was from, but with a title like that I had to know what this was all about. If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading the original article before reading this post. (Just click on the article title above to open the post)

Once I opened the article and saw it was posted on the blog Total Sorority Move, I had a feeling this had great potential to go downhill fast. Unfortunately, I was right. When I first read through this article, I was appalled. Are there actually girls who think this way? And the more I thought about it, the more my shock turned into disappointment.

The article opens with a quick recap of the “typical” college experience with the words “You knew it before” preceding each description. After the first paragraph, I still wasn’t quite sure what this article was all about, so I kept reading. The next line reveals what “you knew”- college would be the best four years of your life. Now, while I am enjoying every minute of my time in college, I would suggest that these will not be the best four years of my life, but to each his own. As I read a little further, the author talked a little more about why these would be the best years of your life. And to my amazement, THESE are the reasons she gave:

“This is a time to be silly. A time to form friendships. A time to make mistakes — really serious mistakes. Mistakes that will devastate you, temporarily cripple you, and ultimately turn you into the person you’re meant to be. This is a time to learn. It’s a time to grow. And it’s a time for alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

It’s a time to wake up at 6 a.m. and bang on pots and pans as you take shots in celebration of homecoming. It’s a time to fall in lust with all the wrong guys. It’s the time, if there ever is one, for one-night stands. It’s the time to go streaking. It’s the the time to dance on tables. It’s the time to do everything your parents told you never to do, and everything society will eventually tell you never to do again.”

Some of these things absolutely have a place in college- acting silly, making friends, no doubt you will make mistakes, learn and grow. But, lots and lots of alcohol? Streaking? Everything your parents told you never to do? One-night stands?

I guess I should not have been shocked reading this, but I was. Yes, I know all of these things happen at colleges. But to see someone endorse and encourage these behaviors? I was shocked.

As I continued reading, I found where the author made the connection to the title. In the next paragraph, she outlines how repulsive it is that girls look at other girls who are participating in the above behaviors and offer a sarcastic “That’s classy…” as the ultimate insult. She goes so far as to say that the individuals taking a stand against these behaviors are the true examples of what not being classy looks like. After seeing that assertion, I wasn’t sure the article could get any worse, but it did.

“Nobody cares about the things you aren’t doing. Nobody cares that when your friends stripped down to their bras and panties and jumped into the creek that night, that you watched their clothes and gave them dirty looks because they were nearly naked in the presence of men. Nobody cares that you’ve never very publicly made out with a guy on the dance floor of your favorite bar. Nobody cares that you know that three glasses of wine gets you tipsy, but five shots of tequila gets you wild, so you never drink tequila. Nobody cares that you never said [long chain of expletives] to the guy who hurt your best friend because that type of language is unbecoming of a lady. Nobody cares that when you were 19 years old, you didn’t buy that tight, low-cut dress that made your boobs look amazing and your butt look even better because it was too revealing. Nobody cares you’re undefeated in “Never Have I Ever.””
So, at this point we have finally hit rock bottom with this article. Or maybe not. The sentence following the above paragraph? “But someday, you will. You have the rest of your life to be the perfect embodiment of a Stepford wife. Your future is filled with restrictions responsibilities, and a reputation to uphold.” Okay, now we have hit rock bottom. This author is trying to argue that one day you will actually regret not engaging in these behaviors. She makes the comment “It’s easier to live with an ‘oh well’ than a ‘what if?'” I can’t speak from experience on this, but I am pretty sure when you are lying next to your spouse one day and you remember those one-night stands, you will have a lot more emotions than just “oh well.” And I am also pretty sure that the people who did not have a one-night stand, will not be wandering “what if?” You know why they won’t ask that? Because no one looks back and wishes they would have made more mistakes. I have never met anyone who said “Wow, I really wish I could have messed up a few more times in high school. I just don’t think I made enough mistakes.” How ludicrous does that sound?

I find it interesting that every person I have ever heard offer the advice “You only have 4 years to be young and dumb. Take advantage of it” are, ironically, still young (and dumb). The adults I have talked to have much different advice to offer. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this is probably because they have seen the aftermath of these choices. They have seen “lots and lots of alcohol” lead to addictions that destroy lives. They’ve seen “one-night stands” turn into STDs and an unwanted pregnancy that alter the rest of your life. They’ve seen that doing “everything their parents told them not to” got them everywhere they didn’t want to be. They have seen the consequences of their actions play out, and they’re trying to save you and me from experiencing the unnecessary pain.

Not only will avoiding these situations prevent us from experiencing unnecessary pain, but it’s also what God expects from those who call themselves Christians. Paul tells us what God expects of His children in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do NOT be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Again in Philippians, Paul reiterates what it means to be a Christian. Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ…” We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world.

So, no one cares about the things you aren’t doing? False. A lot of people will notice AND appreciate your courage to stand against the things that God stands against. Don’t believe the lies that you’ll regret not making those mistakes. Live your life with integrity. And show the world what being classy is all about. In case you aren’t quite sure what being classy is all about, I’ll let Merriam-Webster’s give you the true definition; Classy- showing impressive character, having or reflecting high standards of behavior, admirably skillful and graceful.


Reflecting on His Unfailing Love

As I sit in my dorm room, with a little HGTV playing in the background, I can’t help but think back over the past 3 semesters and all that they have brought to my life.
I have been blessed in so many ways by the time I have spent at Lipscomb and the opportunities that life in Nashville has brought. But the point of this post is more aimed at reflecting over how thankful I am that God has plans for my life that amaze me everyday. And thankfully, He continues to work in my life even when I harshly oppose HIs help.
Let’s start at the beginning of the story- how I ended up at Lipscomb.
You see, growing up, Lipscomb was never even on my radar. I had heard about it. Knew where it was. And even had some family and friends that had attended, but it was never something I even considered.
Senior year I had decided that I had 2 schools I needed to choose between- ICC to play tennis or Ole Miss. After many heated conversations and emotional debates, I realized neither of these choices were going to gain much favor or support from my parents. Like most teenagers though, I knew that this was ultimately my decision and I could go wherever I wanted to. HA. (For those of you who are thinking like this, I’ll go ahead and warn you: unless you are paying tuition yourself, going “wherever you want to cause it’s your decision blah blah blah” doesn’t actually work.)
Well now that we have established I clearly had to begin considering other schools, I was at a loss of what to do. The only thing I knew was where I didn’t want to go. Incidentally, it was the exact school my dad wanted me to go to. Funny how it always seems to work like that, isn’t it?
So my mom, trying to be the voice of reason, suggested that we could find a middle ground. Somewhere that was a Christian school, which is the only thing my dad would settle for, but would provide the opportunities and busy city life that I wanted. So the week before Thanksgiving of senior year, I begrudgingly agreed to make a campus visit. (The whole time reassuring myself that I could make this visit to appease my parents and then talk them into letting me go where I was clearly destined to be- Ole Miss).
So, throughout this whole process of choosing a college, both before and after my visit to Lipscomb, I was praying for God to show me where He wanted me to be. Before you think, well that seems like a mature decision, my prayers usually went something like this: “God, I pray that you will show me where you want me to be (I know it’s Ole Miss). I pray that I will trust you with this decision (please lead me to Ole Miss). and I ask that you give my parents peace about my decision and let them know that wherever I go is where you are leading me (God, I really need you to convince them to let me go to Ole Miss). I pray that you will give me the strength and courage to serve you wherever I go (Ole Miss has a lot of people that need to hear about you, God). Please help me to see your plans for me, and help me follow them (Again, please let it be Ole Miss).”
So basically, I was telling God where I needed to be, and really only praying about this decision so I could say “But it’s God’s plan. You HAVE to let me go to Ole Miss.” The whole time, I was completely not open to thinking maybe God was leading me somewhere else.  So I went on my college visit to Lipscomb. For me, it felt like a typical college visit. Not good or bad. Just average. I loved the idea of being in Nashville, but after growing up in private schools, I felt like I was ready for a break from all the extra rules. And my heart was still in Oxford.
On the ride home as we were all discussing the college visit, it was clear my dad was not in favor of this school either. His heart was clearly set on another school, as well, and he did not want to budge. I’m not sure what it is that seems so appealing about going against your parents’ judgement when you’re a teenager, but once my dad gave negative feedback about Lipscomb, it suddenly became a really attractive option. I had decided that there was no way I was going to win the battle of going to Ole Miss, but I felt like I could win this one. Not only did I feel like I could win this one, but I had decided that this was where I was going to go to school. And I’m fairly certain I told them they could let me go to Lipscomb or I just wouldn’t go to college at all. (Because taking on the mentality of a toddler and saying “It’s that one or nothing” would definitely show them I was mature…)
I was angry that I wasn’t getting to go where all of my friends went, but I had learned that when you take on disappointment with a bad attitude it just makes it worse. So I decided I would make the most of a bad situation and pretend like I was excited about my decision. By the end of senior year, I was genuinely excited about my decision, but probably for the wrong reasons. After a number of things happened senior year, I was just ready to get as far away as I could and just start over. The thought of being able to be at a place where no one knew me or anything about me was a kind of apprehensive excitement that I had never felt before. For this first time in my life, I could start completely over.
The end of summer rolled around and I had all my ducks in a row and was ready to start my new adventure. And then the first major crisis occurred. A week before move-in day, I get a text from my roommate saying she had decided to switch schools. Fantastic. Obviously, this now means that I will be stuck with a psycho roommate and this is going to be the worst year of my life. God, I gave up the fight for Ole Miss to follow where YOU wanted me, and now you let this happen?! I was angry and terrified and disappointed, but I realized there was nothing I could do so I tried not to think about it. Bring on the random roommate.
On move-in day, we found out that I would not have a roommate. I wasn’t sure whether I should be happy or sad about this, and then we saw the room I would be living in. You know it’s a bad sign when the RA checking you in says, “Oh you poor thing you have the smallest room in the whole building.” Wow. Awesome. I am SO glad I didn’t go to Ole Miss…She opened the door, I took one look at the room, and silently said a quick prayer. The room was smaller than any dorm room I had ever seen, and for the first time in my life, I SAW God’s plan play out in my life. I was so angry that God had let the roommate that I was so excited about change schools with only a week before school started. But after I saw this room, I realized what a blessing this was, and how unlikely it was that all of the pieces to this puzzle fell into plan just by coincidence.
You see, me and my roommate had found each other through Lipscomb’s Facebook page. Of all of the people on this page, she was one of the only ones I know who decided to change her mind a week before school started. If I had picked a different roommate, I would have spent freshman year in a shoe box trying to deal with another girl. Or if my roommate would have canceled earlier, it would have given me time to find a new roommate. But because of the person I had chosen and the lack of time she left for me to find someone new, I ended up having this tiny room all to myself. God must have known that I could not handle another girl for a year in such a tight space. What a blessing in disguise this was! So shamefully, as a dog with their tail between their legs, I prayed again. “God, I am so sorry. I’m sorry for being stubborn and for thinking I know how everything should play out. I’m sorry for not trusting that you have my best interests in mind. And I thank you for carrying out your plan even when I have gotten mad and fought against you.”
That rainy day in mid-August changed my life. I have realized to take disappointments when they come, and wait to see how God can use those for His Glory. I have not mastered this idea yet. My first reaction when disappointments come is still to get angry with God. But thankfully, we serve a forgiving and compassionate God who continues to work in our lives even when we resist and accuse Him of being wrong. With every disappointment that has come, I have seen God work. This doesn’t mean that the disappointments don’t still hurt. They absolutely do. But there is a sense of comfort in knowing that life isn’t over, our world hasn’t stopped spinning, and there will always be a silver lining.
So many other things have been a testament to me that Lipscomb is no doubt where God wanted me to be. The church family I have here in Nashville has challenged me and opened my eyes to so many wonderful things. I have formed the friendships I had only heard about. You know those relationships where you can be completely honest about your struggles and know that they will not have even one judgmental thought about you. I have found those friendships. I have seen people truly walk the walk of Jesus and have lovingly challenged me to do the same.
From where I sit now, I am incredibly thankful that I didn’t end up where I thought I should be. I’m thankful that I have parents who told me “No” even when they knew it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I am thankful for a God who doesn’t give up on us, and who has a plan for our lives. And I’m thankful for all of the lessons He has taught me in such a short time. If you made it all the way to the end, kudos to you! Reward yourself with some chocolate, because you deserve it! (: