New student orientation at Asbury has not gone according to plan.
My plan, anyway.
I arrived at Asbury sick with a bad cough. Loaded up with enough cough meds to last me through the apocalypse, I decided a little cough wasn't going to hold me back this week.
Things were awkward for everyone. Some people knew each other, but most of us didn't. It was uncomfortable. Usually you know someone before living with them - not the case in college.
By the third day at orientation, many people had "paired off" and found friends. Not me. Sure, there were plenty of people that I said "hey" to while walking through campus, but I didn't have any best friends for life yet. Maybe no one did.
Either way, I was not looking forward to the hiking expedition my T.A.G. (Transition and Guidance) group was taking. Okay, so it wasn't really an expedition - it was an hour and a half walk through the woods (or so I thought).
No one expected the trails to be so muddy, though, the rain having stopped the day before. Halfway through the hike, I was already exhausted. We'd climbed hills and walked through (smallish) waterfalls.
Just when I thought it couldn't get much worse, my foot slipped in the mud, and twisted under me as I fell. I don't cry a whole lot from injuries - I have a very high pain tolerance. But I wanted to cry.
My group went on, with one of the leaders staying with me. A student trained in wilderness medicine (okay, so it wasn't called wilderness medicine, but it was something like that) came and checked out my foot, declaring that she didn't think it was broken.
"Do you think you can walk?" she asked me.
I looked around at the trees and ledges and the river flowing down below me. "Well," I replied. "I don't want to be stranded in the forest so, yes, I can walk."
The way back to a road was an uphill climb. I was winded, exhausted, sick, and in a whole lot of pain. It was awful.
When we finally got to a gravel road, the Associate Dean came and picked me up and drove me to the clinic. They wrapped my foot in an ace bandage, gave me an ice pack, and told me to pop ibuprofen four times a day to help with the swelling. They also gave me crutches to help take the weight off my foot.
Later that day as I sat on a bench, wistfully watching the other students playing volleyball on the green and mingling and making friends, I threw a little pity party for myself. This week had not gone as I planned at all. I was sick and now injured, and I still didn't feel that I had any friends.
Just then, an upperclassman girl I'd never seen before in my life came and sat down next to me. We talked and talked, and she introduced me to her friends. She even wanted to keep in contact.
Suddenly, things became clear to me. I felt I'd made a connection for the first time on Asbury grounds.
All because I'd messed up my foot.
I wouldn't have been sitting there, feeling (and probably looking) dejected and lonely without my foot being hurt.
And then I never would have met those girls.
I am confident that this was God, revealing a tiny bit of His plan to me.
And so, in a way, I'm glad I hurt my foot. I'm glad I'm on crutches.
It wasn't my plan.
But His are better anyway.