Where does God want me to go to college?

college1More on God’s Will.

“[D]o not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

-Ephesians 5:17 (ESV)

I have been faced with some pretty intense decisions this week–namely decisions about choosing a college.  This, likely, has been the most important life decision I have been faced with thus far in my life.  During this season in my life, I have been so thankful for the knowledge that  I have about God’s Will.  This knowledge, for me, has been founded, not on any merit of my own, but only by God’s grace.  I have been extremely blessed to have many Godly influences who pointed me to the biblical definition of God’s Will.  This knowledge has been of imense comfort to me during this time.  You honestly have no idea how freaked out I would be about this decision without knowing what I know.

That being said, a lot of people in my life are making the same decision.  In the messed up world of college admittance, rejection, waitlists, financial aid, and what-have-you, any degree of certainty is very hard to come by.  Even that is an understatment.  Believe me when I say that I feel the strain of these decisions just as much as any of you.

Briefly, let me explain my situation.  I applied to four colleges.  I have been accepted at three of them, but I was offered a spot on the waitlist at the other.  The trouble is that my #1 choice was the one at which I was waitlisted.  However, I’m not about to start complaining; I have been extremely blessed to have such a wealth of options for college next year.

Here’s the point though: when I found out that I probably wouldn’t be going to Northwestern, although I was disappointed, it didn’t make me anxious that my future had suddenly been compromised.  This mentality came out of my faith in the promises that God has given me in His word.  These promises include:

God’s Will is a sovereign will.  His overall plans for the world will be accomplished on time every time.  We just get the privilege of being included in that–and an amazing privilege it is!  God tells us in Ephesians that he “works all things according to the counsel of his will.”  (1:11 ESV)  Now realize that he’s not kidding when he says ‘ALL’.  Last time I checked, ‘all’ included the fact that I did not get accepted at Northwestern.  ‘All’ also includes the fact that you maybe did not get accepted at the school of your choice.  He’s working it out according to his will.  He has a plan.

God knows what he’s doing.  The fact that I didn’t get accepted into Northwestern in no way compromises God’s sovereign will for my life.  It is not as if He was waiting for the acceptance letter in the mail and now that it didn’t come he’s like, “Oh crap! What are we gonna do now?  My whole plan for Zach’s life was contingent upon him going to Northwestern.”  Yeah, no.  God’s sovereign will cannot be thwarted by anything.  His ways are higher than mine, plus he sees the big picture.  I just see right now.  So as much as it ‘sucks’ for me that I didn’t get into Northwestern, I can take comfort in the fact that God’s plans for my future have been in no way diminished.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope.”

-Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

God’s plan is good.  He is on my side.  He has a good plan for my future.  I have so much freedom in the truth that I’m not just going from day to day here with no purpose or direction.  God has a ‘plan’ for me that is hopeful, after all.  He has one for you too if you strive to live according to his Word (there’s a lot to that, but we don’t need to get into that right now). 🙂  That plan for you will not be thwarted by anything.  King David wrote in Psalms 138:

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

-Psalms 138:8 (ESV)

He is never going to give us over to the futile ways in which things happen in this world.

Now, all that being said, God does not have some specific detailed plan for our lives.  Remember, he’s sovereign.  So it’s not as if he’s up in heaven going, “Oh man Zach, you better pick DePaul because that’s where I ‘want’ you to be and you are so screwed if you do not go there.”  God’s will is about my heart.  My heart is, by his grace, to serve him and him alone.  I believe that he will use me wherever I go to college, and, as I said before, his purposes will ultimately be accomplished.  He can (and will) do the same for you.  🙂 

Our God is a God who loves his children more than anything we can possibly imagine.  He is good.  His plans are good, and when you think about that, there’s really nothing to worry about.

Make a wise decsion.  God will take care of the rest. 

P.S. I got a lot of this from my Pastor, James MacDonald (as I often do).  He could explain it to you a lot better than I can.  Check it out here: http://store.walkintheword.com/p-1110-way-of-wisdom-a-biblical-alternative-to-the-traditional-view-of-gods-will.aspx  Pst… I could just let you borrow this if you’d like.


About zacharywagner

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11 Responses to Where does God want me to go to college?

  1. angie says:

    Z – I’m disappointed for you because I know that you were so hoping for this but I’m extremely proud of you for not letting it crush you. In retrospect, where you go to college will not define you! God is looking for you to honor him wherever you go. It’s a very short period in your life and no matter where you go, I know you will make the best of it. 🙂 I’d love to see you go to IL but I’m aware that it’s likely your 4th choice. It would just be fun to visit you there and have another Wagner alum! Anyway, how does the waitlist work? When do you have to give your decision to the other places? What are you thinking? De Paul? And by the way, when did you start spelling your name with an h instead of a k? Love you.

  2. Kenia says:

    wow thank you so much for your testimony 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    Thanks Zachery… My daughter is been seeking God for wisdom on just this subject.. thanks for sharing the wisdom you have found with others.. I googled Where does God want me to go to college… and I found you article, I think it will help her tremendously…

  4. Meg says:

    Hi! I also googled where does God want me to go to college a couple weeks ago, and I found your blog. God really spoke through you (and google I guess) because Northwestern is my first choice for college right now, and it’s the first college you mention. And not just that, but you really do have some good wisdom and reassurance about God’s will. Thank you so much!

  5. Xadus says:

    Very nice article…I can feel the divinity in your writing, and how u are acustomed with God

  6. Katie says:

    Dear Z,

    Just as you did, I googled. Just today, I got rejected from four of my main colleges. I have a 3.8 GPA and 2000 SAT scores. So, it’s not like I’m a bad student. I know God has a plan of where he wants me to go I would just really like to know where. This blog undoubtedly helped me through this tough season. I will find out on Thursday about my other two colleges. They are long shots, so I will definitely be needing divine intervention. I’m not sure what the point of me writing to you was – besides just to vent and thank you. I know, wherever you went, that you chose the right school.


  7. V says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m a rising senior with an over-ambitious attitude, no over-abounding funds, and a not complete plan= stress. I have the SAT scores and the GPA to get into basically any school I want, which honestly scares me. But I also can’t pay for half the schools I can get into, and I’m not a minority and my family is upper-middle class so I can’t get any financial aid. Not that I’m not grateful for good grades and money. But I’ve been really trying to look into schools I can afford, and a school that won’t undermine my relationship with God. So lately I have been extremely worried about where I need to be, and you truly helped me calm down and realize the sovereignty of God. Thank you so much!

  8. Carrie says:

    Thanks so much for this! This post kind of reminded me that picking the “right” college is not the most intimidating thing in the world. You reminded me that no matter where I go, God can work through me if I don’t freak out over the little stuff (like if I “should’ve” gone somewhere else). So thanks again, man! =]

  9. Katie B says:

    Yes, I am one more who got tired of college searching and decided to google “Where does God want me to go to college.” I am so glad I did this. Your blog has not only shown me that other people are in the same boat that I am, but also, that other people are searching for God’s will just as I. Thanks for the blog. It truly makes me feel less stress and worry. Although, I never really worry about this, but all my friends are stressing me out. They all seem to have everything planned out, and I know that’s not how our life should be. We follow God and his will, not our own. I try to keep this in mind. I also try to keep in mind that God will reveal His way in His timing, and I must be patient. Patience has never really been my thing. Thanks again for this because it truly helps 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  10. Tasha says:

    Hi. Like most people here, I found your blog my googling, ‘God, what college do you want me to attend?’ I am so nervous. I hadn’t realized the years were flying by so quickly. I’ll graduate next year, and I don’t know where I’m going to apply for college. I’m trying to fight Satan and this spirit of fear that he is trying to give me, because I trust my God, and I know he will make everything alright for me. lol. I’m crying as I write this (it always happens when I talk to Him). I just wanted to let you know, that I definitely felt something from your words, and the equally encouraging words of those who commented.
    God Bless You,

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