Jessica Waddell


Not Just Another Number

 

Growing up, I always remember attending Sunday services with my family and going to numerous church events, camps, and retreats. I also went to a Christian school from preschool through middle school. I was that “church kid” that could recite all the Bible stories from Jonah and the whale to Daniel and the lions. As I got older, I began to mature in my faith by reading and studying God’s Word. The religion I had been raised with went from “tradition” and “habit” to my own personal and intimate relationship with my Creator. With mentor figures in my life like my parents, my Bible study teacher, and leaders from church, I was able to flourish in my faith walk and experience God’s truth in my own life.

When I entered high school, I left the small, private, sheltered, Christian school I had grown up in all my life. Attending a public high school was a different experience for me and I definitely felt like the odd one out. I knew there was something special and unique about me, but I didn’t quite realize that feeling came from God. Finally, at the end of my junior year of high school I remember coming home from Bible class one morning and telling myself, “I want to see what happens if I dedicate myself to reading through the entire Bible myself”. God was leading me into a deeper relationship with Him, and that decision changed my life forever. I can’t really explain what happened but there was a great transformation inside of me after that. The more I studied the Word, the more I wanted to study it. As I entered my senior year of high school, God gave me a whole new perspective on life. When it came time to pick my major for college, nothing seemed quite right. Finally, after a few months of prayers, signs, and searching, I realized that God was calling me into full time ministry, and it was going to be for life.

A couple years later, after completing my general AA degree, it was time to go into my major. I decided on Christian ministry, and Trinity was the right choice for me. How I got to Trinity is a bit of a funny story. I wanted a Christian University but I was 18 so I also wanted to go away and leave the city I had lived in my entire life. When someone told me about Trinity, I immediately applied. The only thing was, it was in Miami. The place I wanted to leave so badly. However, the more I tried to leave Miami, the more doors closed. One day, I came to the end of myself and truly surrendered it to God. My mind had been so clouded with going away, I had completely forgotten I had even applied to Trinity a year before! Then one day when I was struggling to figure out what I was going to do, I received a call from Trinity telling me it was time to register for classes! I took that call as a sign and set up a registration appointment. I went in not 100% sure if I was going to actually sign up, but ready to see if it could be an option. I went in for my appointment and came out a few hours later registered, with my schedule, a payment plan, and even my student ID card! I was all set for the semester and my first class started a few weeks after that. I never looked back.

I could go on and on about my experiences at Trinity in the classroom, with the professors, and my classmates. However, I will highlight this, the family you make at Trinity is forever. The person you sit next to isn’t just someone else studying the same material as you. They become your family. I have met some of my best friends through Trinity International University and inside and outside of the classroom, you do feel like you matter. You are not just another number; you are a name, a face, a personality, and a fellow brother and sister in Christ.

Because of my incredible experiences with Trinity, I decided to come back and pursue my Master in Leadership. I believe this degree will not only help develop my character and leadership skills but also equip me for the calling and ministry God has placed on my heart. I chose the emphasis in International Leadership and in this program, I will get the opportunity to serve in ministry in a different culture- something I have always desired to do. I want to disciple people, teach the Word, and bring the gospel to the nations. Studying at Trinity not only helped me make connections with different people, churches, and ministries, but it provided me with an education that is second to none. I am expectant and eager to start my new journey at Trinity in the Master’s program. Go Trojans!!