Some of the most difficult words for me to say or hear.
My least favorite thing in the world has always been change – and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of it in my short life. Moving seven times by the age of 14, plus changing schools and churches multiple times can make a person just a little wary of change. I remember spending hours as a teenager dwelling on and dreaming of happy times in my past and wishing desperately that I could somehow return to them. I would write whole stories based on my idyllic view of younger years and how things “should be.”
But as I got older and years passed, I gradually came to more peace with change. It still takes time to adjust of course, but I’ve learned that I can’t hold on that fiercely to everything because life is a series of new adventures, and one must end in order for the next to begin. I have come to see that it’s not my right to cling so tightly to my experiences, my friendships or the organizations that I’m involved with – because they are just gifts on loan to me. My job is to enjoy them in the present – while they are happening – and then gracefully part with them when their time is up.
Such is the case with the changes presenting themselves to me this fall.
Five years ago this fall I started coming to the college ministry at my church. Five years ago I also became the HYPE Adviser for CYT-Spokane. Both have had a beautiful impact on my life as I went through college, and now, this fall, I start on a new journey with one while saying good-bye to the other.
It’s time for me to step down from my role as HYPE Adviser (on a local level, not as Director on a national level), and come on board as staff for college ministry. One kind of beauty exchanged for another. While it is bittersweet to say good-bye to the day-to-day involvement with HYPE, I know that God has a new pathway in store for me. And I also know that I will never lose the connections with those people – those students in the program whom I love so much. I still have the memories made with them and the joy & satisfaction of knowing I fulfilled my role while I was called to do so.
I believe that every experience we have in life prepares us for another one down the road … and such is the case with my involvement with mentoring, not only in HYPE, but also in Cru while I did dorm ministry two years ago. Now I am to take those skills and apply them to college girls at my church – loving, mentoring, and serving them just as God has called me to do. And along the way, be mentored and challenged in my own faith by an amazing staff as we work & grow together. From our vision-casting time at the lake last Sunday, I am positive that it’s going to be an awesome year in college ministry … and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Then come the next two big life changes – starting to substitute teach and moving out to my very own little cozy abode! Teaching will start in the next week or so; the moving out in about a month [Lord willing], but prep for both have begun now.
My heart is filled with so much joyful anticipation of getting to teach on my own and getting to know so many new children and teachers throughout the area. I know that it can seem disappointing or “less accomplished” to start out as a sub, but I look at all the opportunities it will afford and am grateful for them. Getting the chance to “explore” all the various schools, getting more time in the evenings for other things, getting experience teaching – I know that God has a purpose for me as a sub, and I want to carry it out as faithfully as I can in service to the teachers whom I will be assisting.
Additionally, my excitement to move out mounts with every day and every little purchase of something new for the home – my very own place to call home! I have loved living with my parents up to this point and am blessed to have such a warm atmosphere to come home to at night. I love sharing life with them, but I also love the idea of getting to create my own space that has its own distinctive flavors. More than anything I look forward to sharing that space openly with others – as a “safe place” where they feel welcome and where they can share life.
Every time I look at my Pinterest board of homes & decoration ideas, I get a wee bit too excited. Obviously my home won’t look like that at first, but it will be a work in progress! And if nothing else, there will be a red teakettle to put on so that we can share a cup of tea. 🙂
As surely as the leaves turn red in the fall and my heart quickens with the beauty of another season, so I know the next season of my life will be filled with just as much beauty in the change. It will have an adjustment period. Everything won’t always be cloud nine, happy camper all the time. But it will be a time to trust God even more that He will carry me through.
Psalm 40:5 says these promising words:
“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”
One kind of beauty has come to an end. The next kind of beauty is blowing in on the wings of fall, and my heart thrills to partake. I stand with open arms. I’m ready.