UPDATE: My first year at Reformation Bible College is now almost over, and I can assure the prospective student that all I have said below has held true. It is a wonderful college and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the reformed faith in an environment conducive to growing spiritually as well as theologically.
So I've been in Sanford, Florida for what feels like a long time now, even though it's only been a few days. Settling in has been a bit easier than I thought. I've also had two days worth of classes now. There has been some anxiety, and I think the course work will be hard, but I believe if I do my reading and pay attention in class, I'll manage pretty well.
It's great, and humbling, to be around so many smart people, people whom God has graciously blessed with insight and wisdom. I am not only talking about the professors, but fellow students. When you are sitting at home, cut off from other reformed folk, you can begin to think that you are the only person left in the world that cares about the deeper things of God and wrestling with Scripture to discern Truth. Thankfully, I am seeing how smart and sharp and humble these other students are. The Christian fellowship here has already been amazing. As much as I am going to enjoy learning more about God, being part of a Christian community where the Christians actually act like Christians has been the most refreshing thing so far. Today I had an hour long discussion about the Fall of man, after class, with several classmates. After that, I talked about some concerns I had for some people I know back at home, regarding their spiritual well-being. Two of my housemates gave me some good advice for at least thirty minutes, and then we prayed together specifically for those who were on my heart. I've never really experienced anything like this before... but it's indescribably wonderful.
I have much to learn, and much growing up to do here, as a Christian and as a man. While nervousness and frustration and stress are sure to come because of my depravity, I am constantly being convicted and reminded that God is faithful, God is gracious, God is loving. He will carry me through this. If I do the work that I can and stay diligent in my studies, I should not be ashamed nor fear the outcome, no matter how good or bad it may be. The sovereignty of God and His good will and purpose over everything in my life is not just an abstract doctrine to talk about, but most importantly something to trust in, something to live by. It is a most comforting truth indeed. Every night I have prayed to God that I would stop worrying, and trust Him. Before the prayer finishes my mind wanders and I start worrying again, only to repent and begin praying to trust in God again. Such is the life of a Christian.
One thing I do know, though, is that I won't be leaving this college. I've said a lot about Christian colleges negatively in the past, even some in my own denomination, and I think justifiably so. But so far, I can without hesitation recommend Reformation Bible College as being a very wonderful, and unique, Christian experience indeed. And there is no reason I can foresee that things will change for the worse.