By Ariel Bozeman
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews)- A senior English major from Locust Grove, Ga., Jordan West’s journey with the Lord ranged from heartbreak to headache, and eventually landed her joyfully in line with His will at Truett-McConnell.
West grew up in a Christian home, with both mom and dad present, and has never known much of the emptiness that it is to live without the knowledge and direction of the Lord.
West remembers a time in early childhood when her grandmother was faced with cancer, and she came up empty when trying to understand why a good God would let something so bad happen to someone that loved Him.
She said, “My mom explained to me, ‘We don’t always understand what God’s plans are, and we have to trust that He knows best and sees the big picture. We have to trust our lives in Christ if we want [to ever reach] satisfaction.’”
This was the night that West welcomed Christ into her heart for the first time.
Shallow servitude in works alone
In describing her high school years, West recalls being very active in the church ministry.
She gave of herself in the way that the Lord calls believers to, however, in doing so, she now realizes she became more focused on what other people needed than she was in her own relationship with the Lord.
“I wanted to control the image that I had of Christianity,” she explained. “I loved the idea of knowing God, but I put doing good things and helping people above any personal relationship with Him.”
Coming from a private Christian high school, West was surrounded by many ways in which she could reflect her love for the Lord, through involvement in youth group and local missions.
Though externally, she served the Lord, internally, she prioritized every other part of her life over her relationship with Christ. “It was still very much about other people and my image, and not about my personal walk with Christ,” West reflected.
Finding her way
As she approached the end of high school, West knew that she wanted to major in English, but had no particular avenue down which she planned on taking her passion.
She toured Truett-McConnell after suggestion from a family friend. Her first tour was informal, and left something to be desired. “There was a lot of construction going on at the time, and although the school was pretty, it still seemed too small and like it wasn’t for me,” West said. “I was unimpressed,” she elaborated.
Throughout the following months, West continued her hunt for the right college, never quite finding the perfect fit.
Strangely, even after an unproductive attempt at exploring Truett-McConnell as well as knowing the school didn’t have a large English program, West couldn’t forget the school as she continued her search.
“I went to a preview day in December of my senior year… I remember Dr. Caner saying, ‘If this is where the Lord wants you, we want you to be here. But, if it isn’t, we are praying as you figure out where that is,’” she recounted.
As this encounter was strikingly different to anywhere else she had toured, West knew that TM was the place for her.
“Their heart for the Lord really resonated with me,” West observed.
Surrendering control and cleaning the house
The summer leading up to her freshman year at Truett, West was in a car accident – flipping and completely totaling her car.
“The accident was caused by a mistake that I made. I flipped my car, but I wasn’t hurt at all, and I knew that I should’ve been,” West explained.
She said, “That was the beginning of the Lord really showing me that all of the control that I thought I had [over my life] was not mine.”
Despite her car accident, West continued to ignore God’s calling as He stirred her heart to surrender. She began at TM, and experienced a total life change during Spiritual Emphasis Week on campus her freshman year.
West recalled, “The speaker explained that after salvation, it is like the Lord is cleaning our house… and instead of just letting Him into the main rooms, we have to let Him clean the spider webs out of hall closets, too.”
“I felt so convicted, and knew that I had to let Him into my hall closets, let go of my control and begin focusing on my relationship with the Lord over the image that I upheld,” West recounted.
“The Lord gave me this hunger for His word and a relationship with Him that I had never felt so deeply before,” West resolved.
She continued to serve as she had previously done, but was now able to apply a new passion to her abilities.
Totally transformed in Christ
Now completing her last semester before graduation, West recalls many ways in which God has used her since re-opening her eyes to His greatness.
“He just continues to give me opportunities to serve Him in my time at TM,” said West.
West has been a part of the Student Life Staff at Truett-McConnell for three years, and each different placement has taught her more about the love and care of Jesus. This year, she serves as a Resident Assistant in Merritt Hall, a freshmen girls’ dorm.
“God has really given me a love for them and walking them through their first year. I can’t imagine spending my last year here any other way,” she conveyed.
Passions for purpose
West worked as a freelance writer for TM her junior year.
“In the beginning, I was just curious about writing for TM and getting some experience,” West stated.
West has now switched gears her senior year to work as an intern for the Content Manager of the Communications Department.
“It is incredible to be able to use the passions the Lord has given me to glorify Him,” West expressed.
“In January, I got to go to Haiti with the RAs… I got to go serve the Lord with some of my best friends; then, I got to come back and write about it. It was the greatest thing,” she exclaimed.
“I’m still humbled every day that the Lord lets me do this. I’m not really sure what I’ll do after graduation, but I am very open to whatever the Lord has for me,” West said.
Speaking of her future, West declared, “I know His plans for me are good, and I’ll just continue to follow Him — whatever that looks like.”
Ariel is a freshman pre-health major and freelance writer for TM.Return to News Archive