I transferred. That has been one of the best things for me because it has pushed me. Out of my comfort zone. Out of familiarity. It has pushed me to embrace change. And surprises.
I was pretty good at sticking to what I knew. Staying close to whom I knew. But it wasn’t really living.
Living really came after I had to transfer: find a school between the end of the Fall and beginning of the Spring semesters. A couple months for research. Emails. Phonecalls. Repeat. Admission departments. Financial aid offices. English programs (my discipline at the time). Soccer coaches. Repeat.
Then Union. Excellence-driven. Christ-centered. People-focused. Future-directed. Things I knew I wanted when I transferred. (And the everybody-gets-their-very-own-room part… ahem.)
Living. Real living. The growing up. The growing pains. The having to learn things over again. Again. The change. New place. New faces. The surprises. Of classes. Of relationships. Of the ups and downs and all-arounds that come with being new (without being a freshman).
I started college “knowing” what I wanted to do. I wanted to be an English major. (Though, not the starry-eyed type that dreamt of writing poems for a living and dwelling eternally in a bookshop—not a bookstore, mind you—but in actuality ends up in the folks’ basement.) Of course I was still going to change the world… I had a love for words and grammar and language. Still do. But something changed. (Surprise!) And yikes—new major! Goodbye everything I thought was going to happen; adios everything I planned to happen; au revoir post-college blueprints and half of my “real world” expectations! Hello again, Unknown…
International Business and a Spanish minor.
New classes. Material. Professors. Classmates. Again.
But it’s not newness with dread. Already I’m learning and growing and maturing from the first avalanche of new that came with transferring. It’s newness with anticipation. With nerves, sure, but also with excitement.
Transferring convinced me that my life was not meant to be a straight line, a boring start-to-finish mundane-everyday-grind from point A to point B (or was it point C?). My life is meant to be an adventure. And it’s an adventure not according to my plan. By definition, that means changes. Surprises. Mystery.
Oftentimes things I would not normally pick for myself. Oftentimes things that put me in positions of discomfort, or—even—weakness. But I am coming to find that such positions are okay because “[God’s] grace is sufficient for [me], for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:10). His strength is shown when I’m stuck. In less-than-ideal situations. In uncertainties. In doubt. Et cetera.
He is faithful. Still. When you think you know what’s going on. When you don’t. When things don’t turn out like you planned. When circumstances change. When people let you down. When you let yourself down. In the failures. Betrayals. My pastor Chuck Swindoll puts it this way: “He pours His strength into us, which gives an entirely new perspective on pain and suffering, hardship and pressure…” and when the pain drives us to our knees, “it’s at that point our God comes through, takes us by the hand, and by His grace lifts us up” (Great Days with the Great Lives, 2005). Through it all, He remains. Faithful. Strong. Abounding in steadfast love. Real. With us.
Summer Senn, #4