Graduates spoke from the heart about their Olivet experience.
During the 2019 Baccalaureate service at Olivet Nazarene University, two graduating seniors shared testimonies and memories. Following is an excerpt from each student’s speech.
Kelsie Davis, Class of 2019, holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. She is from Salem, Oregon.
“I think I started wanting to be a college student when I was about twelve years old. More specifically, I knew I wanted to be at Olivet. I remember my mom always telling me to enjoy every moment because these would be the best four years of my life. And, they certainly have been. But what I didn’t think about when I thought about the best four years of my life, was that the best does not always mean the easiest, or the smoothest, or the happiest. In order for them to be the best they also had to be the ones filled with the most lessons learned, the most relationships deepened, and apparently the most sleep lost.”
“When I think of what my Olivet experience has been like, I think first of the people. I think about being able to see a friend on campus and stopping whatever we were doing to talk and check-in with each other. But when I think back now, the most apparent thing to me was how present God was in all of it. Things changed in my family, in my relationships, in my friendships, in my jobs, and in just about every plan I thought I had. I thought I was in control, but my “being in control” was really just me fighting against God’s plan.”
“Without this place, I don’t think I would have learned the lessons I needed, met the people I met, or built a confidence in God that has stuck with me. We joke about being at chapel because we don’t have a choice, but I needed those services to be mandatory. I needed a place where I had to spend time with God. God used every last second of those services. He pursued me. He proved to me that I could trust his consistency and that he would show up for me, even when I didn’t show up for him.”
“Olivet did not fix my life or make everything easier, but it certainly changed my life. I think I’ll spend the rest of my life looking for pieces of Olivet - in my jobs, in my church, in my relationships. I’m trying to look at this not as leaving Olivet behind, but something to take with me. We were here for a reason, we learned things for a reason, and we are even walking away for a reason.”
Caleb Coe, Class of 2019, holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He is from Cedarville, Ohio.
“I was raised in a Christian home. As I grew up, I slowly developed a disinterest in church and God. I thought that Christians were weak and weird because a lot of them were. The Christianity that was being modeled around me was not what I wanted. I started being deceitful towards my parents and enjoying small acts of rebellion. Even as I progressively sank deeper, God still had a plan for me. God specifically put people, places, and experiences in my path that I simply could not ignore.”
“My grandmother was the epitome of a servant of the Lord God used her passing to shake me wide awake. She was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and lost her life a couple months later during my senior year of high school. At her viewing, hundreds of people came from all over the country to wait in line for hours just to pay their respects. Her servant’s heart and faithfulness to the Lord no matter the circumstances are what set her apart and I realized that I wanted that. It instilled an urgency in me that I did not have before. So, I devoted my life to Christ and was baptized. Suddenly, it became of paramount importance to go to a Christian school to help grow my faith.”
“One of the main problems I faced in my relationship with the Lord was my spirit of entitlement. I was doing the right things – praying, reading my Bible, and going to church – but it seemed like God was not responding according to my plans. My overblown sense of self-worth had gotten in the way of truly seeing the amazing grace-filled gift God gave us in Jesus. Every heartbeat, Sodexo meal, breath, jump, laugh, night under a roof, smile, moment is a blood-bought gift of God. This new perspective helped me realize just how much I have to be grateful for.”
“I knew the minute I stepped on campus that God wanted me here at Olivet. I knew this was the place for me. It doesn’t mean it has always been easy or convenient, but it has shaped me and molded me into the man I am called to be. I am beyond thankful for all the people who have invested in my life and to Olivet for helping mature my faith.”
To learn more about student life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-648-1463.