Previously published in the 2018 Ouachitonian yearbook.
For most college kids, leaving home to start a new journey in a new place was uncharted territory, but for Laura Sparks, moving to Arkadelphia was putting another name on the already long list of homes.
“I was born in Florida, then lived in California. After that, I moved to Virginia, Hawaii, Washington, Alabama, Japan, back to Florida and back to California where my family currently is,” said Sparks.
Over 1.2 million dependent children lived in a military family, and Sparks, her brother and her sister were part of the club. Because her father was a pilot in the Navy, Sparks and her family were accustomed to moving around. She was proud of what her dad did, and she was able to capitalize on his talents.
“Because my dad is a pilot in the Navy and can fly anything from helicopters to jets and drones, he has been able to take my family on helicopter rides from Japan to places like Guam and South Korea,” said Sparks.
But whenever they moved to a new place, they had to drive: something not quite as thrilling for a pilot’s family.
God’s sense of humor could be found every day, in every place. For Sparks, God displayed His comedic presence in order to bring her to Ouachita.
“My mom and I were just watching the Chewbacca Mom video, and we found out she went to Ouachita. We looked it up, started praying and God led me here,” she said.
Being able to embrace change was hard, but change was all Sparks knew. The one constant in her life was her loving family. The transition to college was one of the hardest moves she had to make because she was on her own. Throughout her life, she had always been with family. As she lived on her own, multiple states away from her family, the change was difficult.
Despite the changes, the spark she ignited with her smile exclaimed that she was loving life and embracing the path God was taking her down.
“My family has always struck by the idea that God always takes us exactly where He wants us to go. When I get overwhelmed, or miss my family, I remember that, and know that this is just another stepping stone in my journey toward landing where God wants to plant me.”
By Ben Swanger
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