Autumn is my favorite time of year. Looking outside, you can see the trees changing colors and the leaves falling. It is almost therapeutic. You see the landscape around you change year after year. Change is imminent. Change can also bring a new chapter of your life. This chapter may be exciting but also completely terrifying. Not knowing what will happen can make life that much more stressful.
As a college student, you change a lot. In my case, I went away to school, which was only two hours away, but still it felt like a million miles some days. As a scared eighteen-year-old, I was afraid to be away from my family, living on my own without a car and without anyone I knew. Fast forward four years, and I’ll be graduating from that same university in May. I’ve changed in lots of ways. I am now much more independent. I have gotten better with time management skills and balancing work, school, and a social life. My personality has also changed. I went from being the shy freshman to leading organizations on campus. This change has not come easily. It has come with times of sadness and frustration.
I did not welcome this change. I was happy being the quiet girl in the background. Now, I find myself being the leader of the group and feeling like I was meant to be a leader. Change allows growth. And that is what growing up is about—change! While growing up, life can get busy and crazy and stressful. When I started college, I was afraid that I would not find the time for God. I would have too much schoolwork or just not have resources. The wonderful thing about life is that God always finds a way. Even when I was shy and afraid to talk to anyone, God gave me the courage to talk to someone I met at school. I knew she was Lutheran, and I asked if she had found a church. Once I asked, we started going together.
God knew that I would be busy, but God allotted me time to go to His house and worship Him. I praise Him each week for giving me another day on this earth to make an impact on the community I am in. It should not be a weekly occurrence, but a daily occurrence. I wake up every day, thankful for the opportunities and the strength He has given me to keep going.
Change can also be somewhat serious. I met a girl my freshman year who had to transfer back home to her community college because she could not afford the expenses of college away from home. With tuition, fees, living in a dorm, and trying to stay active, it is hard to manage it all. Even by taking out loans on your own and with the support of parents, it is possible that it is not manageable. Some students have to completely drop out of school because they have to go work and support themselves. This change can be hard to grasp. You may find yourself asking, “Why does this have to happen to me?” You may be thinking that you are doing all the right things, that you are good to others. And then you hear, “Well, that’s just the way life is.” It feels like a slap in the face. But it’s not that at all. It could be a shove in a new direction. It could lead to a new job opportunity or a new friendship in your life. Everything happens for a reason, and God knows the exact reason before you do.
God works in ways beyond our understanding. We don’t know why we stubbed our toe on the chair besides clumsiness. I don’t know why God wanted me to choose my college over the one closest to home. Change is good for growth. It all happens for a reason. God knew that I would turn into the person I am today. He knows that whatever you are going through and whatever changes you will face in the future; He knows what will happen. As the leaves change, so you are changing every day. Change is a good thing. During this change that you are facing, know that God is in control. Do not panic or doubt, but understand that God is always with you.
Our Way Home invites you on an incredibly vivid journey through the Lord’s Prayer to dispel your hesitancy and to discover the power, the beauty, and the depth of the world’s most famous prayer.