In many ways, I am a totally different guy because of college and campus ministry.
In August 2002, I started co-leading college ministry with my good friend Alison Hunt at my local church. I was sure it would be a short-term thing. I wasn’t really a preacher and I had much to learn about leadership back then. A dozen plus years later, I have learned a ton about ministry, serving, and organizational leadership. I’ve been blessed with experiences that have stretched my heart and mind in ways that I never thought possible. In many ways, I am a totally different guy because of college and campus ministry. That’s one reality that I did not expect – life changes who we are.
I used to think “you’ve never changed” was the greatest compliment. Consistency and dependability through the seasons of life are amazing qualities to have. But the truth is, we are all being shaped and formed (even transformed) by the events of our lives. Responsibilities change a person. Family dynamics change a person. New opportunities and blessings change a person. Crisis and loss change a person. There is almost no way to truly respond to the seasons of life and stay the same.
Accepting that life changes us is one major lesson. But I think the real lesson is that we can’t fight the change. The number of people I know that have a really hard time moving on is striking. I am finding that it is the resistance to personal change that often makes it difficult for people to work together and make a difference in their world. Regardless of age, many find it painful to allow the transitions of life to make them into different people. Yet its changes like defining new personal boundaries, the evolution of friendships, healing from emotional trauma and even the process of grieving that not only makes us different people, but possibly BETTER people.
In my own personal life, the changing of seasons and God’s call on my life have been deeply related. Even as I write this post, I am aware of small, yet significant changes coming my way. These changes feel very costly, and I have learned to greet them. While change can be big deal, it is not bigger than the God who carries us by great love revealed in Jesus. I can embrace change because my trust and security is in the One who holds my life. God is the one who works all things (including change and transition) out for our good. So I can trust that in whatever ways the seasons of life are changing who I am, God will somehow weave those changes into a beautiful story.
Change isn’t easy to deal with, but is necessary if we are going to get all that God has purposed for us.