Finding a Church in College - Emma Wall
By: Emma Wall
2017 Graduate from Booker T. Washington HS for the Performing Arts
“Let go and let God” is something that I was holding onto this summer. Change is not something that I am necessarily very good at. So, when I chose to attend a college in California I was super anxious about all of the changes that were heading my way. I was especially nervous about having to find a new church community to get plugged into. I had gone to Cottonwood since I was in pre-school, but over the past two years I had gotten super involved in the youth ministry at Cottonwood and I couldn’t believe that I had to let that go. I had done some research online before I left for California about different churches in the area. I found a few local ones, but none of them really interested me. When I got to California I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t set on any church, but I knew that I needed to find one.
After talking to my friend, who attends the Hillsong church in LA, I discovered that Hillsong was opening up a new campus 15 minutes away from my dorm. The Hillsong Orange County Campus opened only two weeks after my first day of school. When I was almost out of hope to find a church that had all of the right characteristics I was looking for, a new option appeared. I have always been a big fan of Hillsong’s music and I was very interested in attending their services, so I gathered two of my new friends and we drove to the service. We attended their second-ever service at The Yost Theater. I walked in and immediately felt welcomed. The presence of God was radiating in that room. We began to worship and suddenly a very familiar song came on, one that Cottonwood had introduced to me over this past summer, “What a Beautiful Name.” As soon as the song came on, my hands seemed to effortlessly float right into the air and I felt that me being here was no accident. I knew that this was my new home. As if the Lord couldn’t have made my path even more obvious, the pastor stated their mission statement, which is “Loving God and Loving People,” which is VERY similar to Cottonwood’s, “Loving God and Loving Others,” and in that moment I knew that this was the place God intended for me to end up at.
Even though I had this burning fear that I wouldn’t find a church, I put all of my trust in the Lord and He guided me to the right place for myself. When you hear the phrase, “Let go and let God,” I encourage you to give all of your worries and trust over to Him because I promise you He will fulfill His promises and He will prosper you in ways that you could not even imagine. Do not be afraid to surrender all that you have to the Lord because He will cherish all that you are and He will love you unconditionally. I encourage those who move away from home to find patience in the Lord. Wait for his sign and once he has shown it to you, do not hesitate, just run after it.