Marriott Battle

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

I get asked about my choice of college a lot. Everyone gets really confused when I tell them I chose to go to a dry campus that had not one, not two, but three mandatory 'Jesus meetings' per week. They would ask why I would decide to go to a campus that didn't allow boys and girls in the same hall, much less the same dorm. Why was I 'giving up' my freedom to go to a university that has a dress code and a curfew?

So, why did I choose Liberty?

Yes- the year-round snowboard mountain is fun, and the rock climbing wall, and the ice skating rink, and the endless bands that come every week, and the Dunkin' Doughnuts in my dorm, and the all you can eat #1 cafeteria in America, and....Well, yes- Liberty has a lot of amazing features.

But the movie theater and bowling alley weren't the deciding factors. If you ask my Mom, she would tell you when we walked into the welcome building and 2 Corinthians 3:17 was written on the awning, "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty." 

Momma Linda was sold then and there, but I wasn't too sure if I wanted to give up my freedom for Liberty yet. 

(See what I did there?)

We toured the campus and kept getting stopped by students saying, "Liberty was the best decision of my life!" or, "Come here, you won't regret it!" If anyone is a horror film fan like I am, you might be thinking that Liberty is actually a cult. Trust me, that idea has never really left my mind. 

But instead of being closed minded and judgmental I looked around the campus. Everyone was smiling and happy to be in the moment. Kids were stretched out on the grass or curled up in the library. People were with their friends or comfortably alone. I have never seen anyone upset at Liberty (except in the maze we call DeMoss).

By the end of the day I still wasn't completely sold. The tour guy dropped us off at the welcome building and told us something that really gave me pause. He said, "I know this isn't going to seem like the typical 'college selling point', but if you don't feel called to come here, don't come."

I don't think the tour guy expected his words to mean so much to my mom and me. Momma Linda will almost always begin any conversation by reminding me how called I was to go to Liberty. She promises me that if God called me there, He won't just lead me and leave me there. I can rest in the promise of my calling to Liberty University. 

So, yes- I will go to Convocation three times a week and 'be forced' to worship my God.

I can't have boys in my dorm, even with the best intentions because the rule does more good than harm. 

I will not be showing up to classes in my onesies, but dressed like an actual adult because this isn't high school anymore. 

I can't stay out in the town of 'roaring' Lynchburg all night unless someone knows where I am.

But I'm going to a college where God has continually called me to attend and where he will lead me closer to him and closer to the life for which I was called. 

And I am so grateful that God called me to the third most beautiful college in America. 

Marriott Battle