Change: to give a different position, course, or direction to
-Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
I remember being eight years old and packing all of my Toy Story toys into a box as the strange moving truck pulled in front of our apartment. The pink carpeted, termite infested, and cozy apartment that I had become accustomed to was no longer going to be my home. I remember asking my parents why we had to move? I didn’t understand why we had to leave that which was what I considered good, behind.
I remember my father telling me that God had provided something better for us. He likened the move to that of the Israelites moving out of Egypt into the promised land. Though that was definitely definitive of that season for my parents, I myself did not fully claim that season for myself as I could not grasp the importance of that move for my young parents.
It has been 14 years, and again I am on the brink of a changing season.
I am a man divided: half of me is in Irvine while the other half of me is in San Diego. My undergraduate years have come to a close. The years have been filled with fear, knowledge, old friends, burned bridges, times of uncertainty, learning experiences, new friends, and amazing growth. The journey has been far from smooth, and yet I would not trade this time of my life for any other alternate time line in a parallel universe.
I have learned so much about myself. I have come to terms with who I am and the gifts and privileges I have been given. I have come to the realization that without God I am nothing, but that with Him I have a purpose and a reason to live intentionally in all that I do.
It’s about more than graduating. It’s about more than finding a job. It’s about more than re-shaping who I am so that I fit into the box-cut mold that the majority of my peers are being shaped by.
I am in no way saying that I am above anyone else, or that my purpose is greater than that of any of my peers, but I have realized that it is ok to feel like the ugly duckling that does not fit in.
I have realized that if I do what everyone else is doing, and that if I try to please those around me, that I will only end up dissatisfied with who I become.
My passions. My creativity. My personality.
These are things that need not be silenced.
I’ve never liked change. I didn’t like leaving the apartment that I knew for five years, and yet the two story, crown-molded, and enormous (to my 8 year old mind) house was a blessing to my family and myself.
The times have changed, but the scenario is similar. This time, it’s time to leave the bubble of education, at least for now. Most of the relationships I’ve made at college will deteriorate with distance. I will never have the opportunity to live with my best friend of 8 years again. I won’t be able to grab a snack and a drink with friends at 2 in the morning. Parking structure jam sessions won’t be as common. I won’t have a rubric and counselors telling me what classes to take and where to go everyday anymore.
Some of those relationships will endure. Some of these friends will be those who I lean on as we struggle together in this new season. My best friend and I will learn to appreciate the time we have been given. Hangouts will be forced to have an element of intentionality that previously was not as crucial. Worship will still be crucial. Now, I’ll be going where God leads me.
I am tempted to be afraid.
Even amidst the chaos of this new season I remember the lines from the song “No Longer Slaves”
I’m no longer a slave to fear.
I am a child of God.
You split the sea so I could walk right through it.
My fears are drowned in perfect love.
You rescued me and I will stand and sing.
I am a child of God.
-Jonathan David and Melissa Helser