The video below includes ideas you can try right away. Just get started! Or, if you’re trucking along, make a commitment to take things to next level. Leave a comment below about what you’re up to or what you’re planning to try. Let’s encourage each other!
Rooting for you,
P.S. Have you registered yet for the LIVE webinar later this week? I hope you can join me as I talk about The 3 Most Important Topics to Address with Seniors Before They Graduate.
Last week, I had the joy of teaching a group of students who are about to graduate from an intensive, 9 month discipleship experience called OneLife. The program director invited me to help these students transition, and one of his hopes was that the students leave with confidence about their next steps (even in the unknown).
We covered a lot of ground in my few days with them, but the most important thing I offered went beyond tips for transitions or practical advice on money management (crucial as these are).
If we want to help our students thrive in the transition, they need deep and timely reminders of God’s character and goodness. Dwelling on who God is (the same God yesterday, today and forever) and who we are because of him is what grounds us in life’s transitions.
This is the most important gift we can give.
At OneLife, we took time to reflect on the attributes of God as well as on our identity in Christ. I led the students through an activity that invited them to consider how they image God. Without even realizing it, our picture of God may be far from who he describes himself to be and who he reveals himself as in the person of Jesus.
For many years, I pictured God as a lightning-bold-throwing God, ready to reprimand me if I stepped out of line. I’ve also imaged him as a “carrot-dangling” God — a deity who tantalizes me with good gifts, but then quickly takes them away. I needed a new image.
I invited the students to select actual images (printed on card stock) that connected with them. I also asked them to reflect, journal and free write, using these two downloadable documents (below) as prompts.
Feel free to give these “gifts” to your students.
We cannot remove the chaos of transitional times, but we can offer our students a firm place to plant their feet.
We can remind them of a constant God for every dynamic time.
Be encouraged today! Erica
PS I’m no longer praying to my faulty abstracts of God. Thanks to all of the beautiful I AM statements in John’s gospel, I have new, rich, and right images of him.
PPS How do you help students grow in their understanding of God’s character and their identity in him? What practical resources do you use?
In her Onward State column, photographer and graduating senior, Sarah Snyder, looks back on her college journey, which did not play out as she predicted. Instead of freaking out or throwing her hands in the air when things did not go as planned, Sarah embraced the unknown. She writes, “There are always so many blessings in the unknown that you’ll miss if you’re focused on what didn’t go according to plan.”
Sarah’s reflection offers hope for today and wisdom for tomorrow, especially as graduation is here! Change is coming. But, as Sarah says, “[W]e are given the choice to look at change as either something to be afraid of, or an opportunity for growth.”
Life’s “disruptions” lead to growth. In fact, transitions—like graduation—can be times when God does some of His best heart work in us if we’re open to it. We hope you have the courage to freefall into the unknown, trusting that God is there to catch you, teach you, and carry you through to the next adventure!