When I was maybe 6 years old, my family went on a vacation to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where Rh.ema Bi.ble Col.lege is located. We were visiting some family friends who had moved down there to pursue a theology degree. While we were there we drove over to Tulsa to see the campus of Or.al Ro.berts Uni.versity. As we drove around the campus, we went across the street to the Ci.ty of Fai.th towers, the medical facility associated with the university. The buildings shimmered from the gold reflective windows (very 70s chic); the water fountains danced in the hot Oklahoma sun; and there was a statue. An enormous bronze statue of Praying Hands.
At over 60 feet tall, weighing over 30 tons, it was the largest bronze statue in the world. A magnificent symbol of faith. At that moment, I said to my parents, “one day I’m going to come here and go to college.”
I had graduated from college in May 1997 with a dual degree in French (language & literature) and was working at a smallish sized company doing a little of everything. My social life was going well. I had my family, many friends and many acquaintances. There was always some fun to be had on the weekends and even during the week if I felt so inclined. I was involved at my church playing keyboard during Sunday services and was active with the young adult ministry. I wasn’t a partier (never have been), but I did have plenty of g and pg-rated experiences to keep life interesting.
By the summer of 1998, as a young adult navigating life beyond the safety of college, I was growing and changing in my worldview and my ideas about what I wanted out of life. As I changed, my friends had difficulty embracing the new me. They had trouble accepting that I was different even if it was for the better. They couldn’t let me grow up and move on from the foolish things I had done as a younger version of myself. They expected and wanted the same girl they always knew.
I couldn’t be her any longer.
I was restless. I knew God was calling me out of my childhood home, away from my childhood friends, away from my family. But where?
I was talking with a dear friend about his plans to go back to college. He told me he was going to Or.al Ro.berts Uni.versity in the fall. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, something clicked within me. I knew that’s where I was supposed to go. I had been taking some additional college courses during the spring and was thinking about studying to become a teacher. My spring classes had been focused on a graduate degree in English Literature. But something didn’t feel right during those studies. I was feeling called to study business.
So I went online, found out what I would need to do to get into the MBA program at O.RU and started doing it. A couple weeks later I took the G.MA.T exam. My score on the G.MA.T combined with my undergraduate GPA would allow me to get into any, but the most elite, school. I knew it had to be O.RU. Within two months I had been accepted into the graduate business program at O.RU and left on an apartment hunting trip.
Everything was falling into place for my big move. It was certainly scary to think about leaving everything I knew and moving a thousand miles across the country, away from my family, with no job, to a city where I knew exactly one person. Despite all this, I had a total peace about what I was doing.
What was I doing?
I thought I was going to graduate business school, thouht I was going to get my MBA with a concentration in Accounting. I thought I was going to meet a wonderful Christian cowboy, marry him and live happily ever after on his ranch raising lots of cattle and children.
On December 26th, 1998 I packed up most of my belongings and my parents and brother drove me to Tulsa.