by Ariel Bozeman

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews)- Kayla Rivers, a sophomore Nursing major, can look back on the time before she knew Christ and see that His plans to lead her to Truett-McConnell were evident all along.

From the tennis court to the congregation

It all began on a tennis team with a partner she never even wanted. Rivers was in her freshman year of high school when her doubles partner invited her to church.

Her first time back to church led to many more visits with her tennis partner’s family, and Rivers was adequately shown Jesus in a way she had never before known.

“I didn’t really grow up in a Christian home,” Rivers explained, “my family believed in the Lord when they needed Him. [My friend’s] family constantly pursued the Lord.”

Since rekindling her fire for Christ and rededicating her life, the sophomore from Royston, Ga. has led many others to Christ, including her mother and grandmother.

“It has been great to see how the Lord has been faithful and [I have been] able to pray with them and share encouragement, and watch it affect their lives as well,” Rivers said.

Following God’s plans to TM

After visiting Truett-McConnell, Rivers knew that God’s plan was for her to become a student there. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I felt God’s presence overwhelmingly,” she shared.

The Nursing major elaborated: “I had been looking for a school that had both missions and nursing, and I found both of those things here. It was the Lord’s way of saying [He] put these desires on my heart for a reason, and [He] made a way for me to pursue them.”

Reflecting on her freshman year and the abundance of blessings she has experienced at TMC, Rivers remembers a Bible study called “Unveiled” which continued the spiritual growth in her heart.

She recalled: “In the Bible study, we talked about the different names of God every week and it would be the highlight of my week. The Lord showed me exactly what He wanted me to learn.”

Rivers continued: “It was so beautiful how [God] was able to work through the leaders and speak directly to my heart.”

During her time at this Bible study, Rivers was able to share her full testimony for the first time. “God constantly reminds me that He has redeemed me from my struggles and loves me with an everlasting love,” she reflected.

Breaking down walls and building opportunities

“God always breaks down my prideful walls,” she began.

She told a story from her freshman year about her attempt to take multiple science classes at once in order to advance into the nursing program a year early. After asking the science department and not receiving the answer she wanted, Rivers was heartbroken.

Knowing that she would be graduating on time rather than early, Rivers realized that she did not have to take any summer classes.

She explained: “It opened up a door to be a room leader at a summer camp that my church hosts. The first night of camp, I was able to lead two girls to Christ who were 12 years old.”

Sharing compassion in the medical field

“I am so grateful that [God] constantly humbles me, and that He has His way and I do not have mine. His plans prevail,” Rivers said.

After graduation from Truett-McConnell, Rivers strives to be a nurse practitioner. “The Lord has laid it on my heart to make home visits and meet the needs in that way. I also want to do medical missions; I’ll go wherever He calls me!” she exclaimed.

Prayerfully walking through life

Rivers is now letting God take the reins of her life. She currently serves as a Resident Assistant in Otwell Hall and leads a Bible study there based on the book of Romans.

She is grateful to her friends at Truett-McConnell for being “honest and vulnerable with her and really opening up,” and allowing her to do the same while encouraging her to actively pursue the Lord.

Rivers has developed a love for praying with people, and feels like God has given her the gift of being able to relate to others. “The Lord constantly leads me to broken people to pray with them… I thought that certain people really didn’t need me to pray with them. I’m glad I stopped doubting and let God lead because they were able to open up to me, and I was able to encourage them with scripture.”

Rivers also makes regular visits to the hospital close to her home and prays with the patients in the waiting room.

She yearns for her life to be a reflection to others of her favorite verse, Isaiah 43:4, which she sums up, “We are precious and honorable in God’s sight, and He loves us.”


Ariel is a freshman Pre-Health major and freelance writer for the college.

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