By Dalton Jordahl
As I was on spring break in Arizona with my grandparents, I was able to enjoy the beautiful majesty of God’s creation. Before I left the FLBC campus, I made sure to prepare a note for each of the men on my floor, encouraging them each day I was away. I am a full-time student, a nanny, a dorm assistant, and an admissions advisor. I love all of these roles, but the dorm assistant position has always been my favorite. I have never been busier in my life, but yet at the same time, I have never been more at peace with where God has placed me.
It is a great joy to watch the men on my floor grow more in Christ as they dive deeper into God’s Word at FLBC. I have had so many late-night conversations with the men on my floor and from other floors’. The highlight of my busy days is coming back to the FLBC campus. I love being able to sit down with these men and hear about their day. It is a joy to hear them share about how God has been working in their life. I especially love when I have had the chance each week to rotate through my floor praying with each of them individually. There have been so many awesome moments in our Thursday evening devotional time for my floor as well. I care so deeply for each of these young men and love watching Christ work through them.
Little did I know, life would throw an unexpected circumstance. As I was enjoying a time of rest in Arizona, I tuned into the FLBCS chapel and saw the announcement that choir tour and the missions trip for students was being canceled due to COVID-19. My heart broke for these students. On that Thursday morning, I wanted nothing more than to be back with the guys (and students) at FLBC to comfort them. It was not until Saturday at midnight that I was back on campus, ready to hop back into my usual routine.
That Sunday night, dorm staff met, and the schools made the right decision to send students home that week until April 14th. I was sad, but at peace, knowing that this was the right decision for the safety of students. As campus slowly quieted down, I said my goodbyes to the men on my floor for this extended break looking forward to the time they come back. I was sad that I was not able to have a devotional time with these men after I got back from Arizona before they left. I trusted the Lord and knew that His ways are higher than mine as I watched them depart.
About a week later, after campus emptied, I met with my co-workers on the FLBCS campus of whom I am so blessed to work alongside. The decision had been made to suspend all in-person classes for the remainder of the year. My heart broke instantly for all of these wonderful students. I felt anguished knowing that so many of these last moments and events planned for the year would no longer happen. As a first-year dorm assistant, I also selfishly wanted nothing more than to be able to have that last moment with all of the men on my floor. I wanted one more night with guys laughing and chatting in my room. I wanted one last devotional time with them. I wanted to check them out of their room for the summer properly. I got back to my empty floor and broke down instantly, seeing all of their empty rooms knowing it would not be the same ever again for this school year.
After this time, I opened up my Bible to 1 Peter chapter 1, which happened to be the chapter up next in my devotional plan. This chapter was exactly what I needed to hear during this time. The whole chapter is beautiful, but I was especially uplifted in this situation by a section of the chapter. 1 Peter 1:6-9 says; “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Wow. We can know that the trials we are facing are necessary towards God’s plan for each of us. We are called to rejoice with joy during our trials and trust in His perfect plan for our life. His ways and wisdom are beyond anything we can imagine. This verse was exactly what I needed to hear on that very morning. Ultimately, we can rest in knowing that our faith leads to the salvation of our souls through His precious blood. That is the hope we rest in. We are not defeated by our circumstances. Our victory lies in our eternal savior. These temporary trials are being used for His purpose, and we can rest in that.
I praise God for technologies that allow my floor to meet and chat with one another virtually. During this time, we can still meet for devotions together in a unique way. Our time together may have been cut short in-person, but we can still be together from a distance. The student body at FLBC did a fantastic job this year of modeling Christ and making sure everyone was included. I am amazed at the unity that this community displays.
Now, I trust in His perfect plan. I am reminded of a VBS song I used to sing while on a summer team. “Through every storm of life, I know you’re by my side. So I am holding on to your promises. You are the God who holds my future, all my dreams. So I am holding on, you’ll never let go of me.” He is always faithful and will see us through.