I read an absurd number of other professors' stories to grasp some form of inspiration for my own. "My story:" is a rather daunting prompt.
I was raised in a Christian household and vaguely grasped the idea that we were all sinners and needed Christ though my understanding did not reach much farther than this. As I am such a stubborn, hard headed (literally and figuratively) individual, I believe sometimes the Lord chooses, with good reason, to use drastic events to get my attention. The Lord has been eternally patient with me.
I remember opening that letter. “Dear Miss Georgianna Mann…. We are pleased to announce that you have been accepted in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia”. The tears flowed for all the wrong reasons, I didn’t want to go. I agonized over what to do.
Consumed with my anxiety, I embarked on the mile bike ride to a food chemistry exam one October morning the fall of my senior year at UGA. I deliberated what I was going to do as I biked, as I did every day, down Lumpkin Street. I felt the waters rising. I felt helpless. I felt like it was entirely up to me where my life was going to go.
I applied to graduate school like it was my job: Ireland, New Zealand, UGA and Virginia Tech. I could hear a still voice repeating “Trust Me” yet I forcibly drowned out His words with my anxiety. I allowed it to completely consume me. I heard it again “Trust Me”. Repeat. “Trust Me.” WHAM. Blood. All I could taste was blood. I needed to get to my test. I didn’t listen. He made sure that I would get the message. I did. He sent a car and one bike crash and concussion later, the anxiety was completely eradicated. Side note: I got to my test, and passed. I think I got sympathy points for bleeding on it.
God made it clear I was not meant to be at UGA, he did not provide a project that I liked or funding. My options were to go to University College Cork/University of Auckland and pay my own way while simultaneously disappointing my dad, go to UGA and work on chickens (I won’t even cook raw chicken in my own kitchen), or go to Virginia Tech with all expenses paid and work with dairy. During my visit at VT, the Lord made the decision crystal clear.
August 4, 2011. It was a typical hot day in August, except for the atypical ritual of my parents dropping me off in Blacksburg, driving away as my dad hollered out the window “you’re cut off, bye!” I was alone. I became acquainted with Blacksburg the best way I knew how: with a run. It was really, really hot (this is coming from a Georgia girl). I wanted to stop. My phone buzzed… how convenient! A text. I never check texts while I run, but it was really, really… you guess it, hot. I stopped underneath a tree outside of the dorms on Washington Street. “VT ALERT: Shooter spotted on campus….” I mapped out the location…. 100 yards away. Three options: get dead, sprint home (what direction?), or find shelter (I know one person who lives 15 miles away).
I looked up. “Northstar Church welcomes you!” were the first words my eyes locked on to. Okay God, I got the message. I walked up to the cute little wooden house and knocked on the door. Cody Davenport, the worship leader for Northstar, answered the door equipped for battle with a cute hobby horse. Yes, a hobby horse. He welcomed me in. I, being my brash self, started with “convince me to come to this church on Sunday”. I was already convinced.
About three word’s of Cody’s spiel in, I realized there was no shooter. This was all a set up. God made it clear that this was where he wanted me. By the way, that gun that was spotted? It was an umbrella. God not only provided a career path, but an incredible church that helped me grow my relationship with Christ by leaps and bounds.
These are only a few instances when the Lord has dramatically changed my life using seemingly random events. I know I’m exactly where He wants me. He has a plan, I just don’t know what it is yet. It’s a good thing I’m not in control. I’m growing every day in my knowledge and love of Christ.
I currently live in Oxford, MS with my husband Matt, our two attitude-filled cats, and a beautiful paint mare. The Lord has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I pray that I am not a professor that happens to be a Christian, but a Christian who happens to be a professor.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
I don't really have a favorite...
Horseback riding, playing with kitties, playing piano, singing poorly in the car, running, thinking about kitties, going to the gym at absurd times in the morning, buying things for kitties and horse, gardening
Best advice I ever received
My undergrad alma mater
University of Georgia (go dawgs!!)
My worst subject in school
Organic chemistry. I still have nightmares
In college I drove
a VW Jetta aka "bertha" aka "the matchbox"
If I weren't a professor, I would
Shoveling horse poop, gleefully.
Harry Potter. I'm shameless.
Lord of the Rings (I can quote an absurd amount of these), Christmas Vacation
Not a city girl, but if my hand were forced... Christchurch, NZ
Nobody knows I
Technically not "nobody", but few people. I was on the robotics team in high school. Nerd for life.
My latest accomplishment
I was able to wear white two weeks ago without spilling food on myself. It was a major victory. I also broke 23 minutes (by a few milliseconds) on my last 5K. I'm pretty pumped about it.
I'm working on marketing in schools and the concept of "copycat snacks" and how these affect dietary patterns of students. I think it's way cool 🙂
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