Bethany Danielson (FLBC Senior)
During my junior and senior years of high school, I was often frustrated with not knowing what I wanted to pursue as a career after graduating. I had been praying about it for a while, but every time I thought I was figuring it out, something changed my mind. I was tired of being asked the “what are your plans” question and not being able to answer it confidently. As graduation drew nearer, I was feeling more pressure to make a decision along with an increasing pull towards the Free Lutheran Bible College. I finally submitted to God’s will and His plan for me.
Looking back, I give thanks to God for not giving me what I was praying for: knowing what career to pursue. For if He had, I wouldn’t have ended up here at Bible college, where each day I have the opportunity to study God’s Word, deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and engage in a community
of Bible-believing Christians.
Will Alverson (FLBC Senior)
My Junior year of high school was not an easy year for me. I started to take my eyes off Jesus and do life my own way. I left my youth group because it wasn’t going the way I thought it should go. I said, “I am not having any fun, so what’s the point?” I left.
Through that time, God was working on my heart, but I had no idea. That summer, when I was at Pickerel Lake Bible Camp, God showed me that my will is nothing and His will is greater! I have never felt my heart beat so fast. I figured out what I was doing wrong. I had taken my eyes off God and His will for my life.
My sister called me and said there was a spot open on a mission trip if I wanted it. I didn’t even have to think about it. I called my youth leader and started crying because I realized how far I was off of God’s path.
I am incredibly thankful for one thing in my life, and it is God’s perfect and pleasing will—a will that we can’t write but a will that we get to live and chase after every day.
Mark Olson (FLBC junior)
Deciding what to do after high school seemed like an easy decision. Since my freshman year, I had the goal of playing golf at the collegiate level. But when the time came, God had another plan for me.
In the spring of 2019, I was set on golf. I had found a home with my teammates on the golf course. It was where I wanted to be, and where they knew I wanted to be. So, it was a bit of a shock to them, along with many others, when, after a week in the Rocky Mountains attending the FLY Convention, I had completely changed my mind. People around me immediately questioned my decision. My church and family were behind my choice, but my decision had others asking why. People I looked up to told me I was making a mistake. Friends made fun of my decision, but each of these conversations helped me realize exactly why I was going.
I am thankful for the summer of 2019, for FLY, as well as for my friends challenging me. They forced me to have confidence in my decision to grow in Christ and stand up for what I believe.
Sara Maifeld (FLBC junior)
In 2019, I served with Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) at a church plant in Japan for six months. A large portion of my time in Japan was spent preparing and teaching five English classes, which included discussions about Bible passages.
Each class that I taught left me in awe and so thankful for how the Lord was at work in my students’ hearts. However, there were a few nights when I just didn’t think I had the strength to teach my 8 p.m. class, particularly after a long, draining week. On some of those occasions, my students would, for some odd reason, not show up. I came to realize that often God creates those spaces for us to give thanks in every circumstance. Class or no class, I was able to give thanks in either scenario because God was showing His faithful, caring hand at work.
Weston Napier (FLBC senior)
With everything going on in the world, the theme, “In all things, give thanks,” is more relevant now than any other period of my life.
Our world is experiencing a pandemic, but this one has been around long before anyone had heard of Coronavirus. We’re infected with a bad case of mass ungratefulness.
The news tells us who to be mad at and why. The sad part is that it works. We see the one bad thing that is set in front of us and forget to look around for the hundreds of reasons to be thankful every day. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God has blessed us in so many ways, and it is very easy to take it all for granted. But as Christians, I think it’s time for us to become immune to the virus that is negativity and look for the good in all things.
Joe Frech (FLS middler)
My daughter Gwen was born on March 4 during my first year of seminary. That day, as my wife and I were praising God for the safe and successful delivery of our beautiful baby girl, our two older children, as well as our nephew, decided to come to the hospital and visit the new baby. We were able to praise God for the whole family being together.
That night, as I was attempting to get some sleep, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law, who was watching my older children while we were in the hospital. Both children had pink eye. We started to worry; how could we praise God for this? Yet God provided. The hospital allowed us to stay another day, and our children received the medication they needed that very night. We could give thanks. No other cases broke out around us, so even in this, we could give thanks.
Truly we can say that God is always worthy to receive our thanks! Do we rejoice because of heartache? No, rather we are to give thanks because God is still in control.