Recent graduates, soon-to-be graduates and current students all dream about what they’ll do with their life in the “real world” after college. This transition, however, can often be frightening.
When adversity arises and everything around us seems to change, Scripture tells us that Jesus is the solid rock we can build our lives upon. (Matthew 7:24-27)
If someone is determined to follow God’s will for their life, they might find it comforting to know that one cannot make a decision that will completely take them out of his will.
God’s will is all out of love, and love gives us a lot of freedom. Living Hope college minister Hunter Sewell said that with God, there is not a “secret will” that has to be figured out, but there is freedom in knowing that living a life that loves Christ and loves others will put us exactly where God wants us to be.
“Relationships, jobs, careers, incomes — things like that are pretty transient,” Sewell said. “But having your identity centered on something that is lasting, that doesn’t change, that won’t be shaken — that’s something that I think is worth investing and putting your life in.”
Life will change, but Jesus won’t, Sewell said. He provided tips for navigating one’s faith through the transition after college and beyond.
“Make a very diligent effort to discipline yourself to get up early to study (the Bible) in the mornings,” he said. “When you study in the mornings you have that quiet time, and your heart is aligned with Christ. The rest of your day looks a lot more like Christ.”
Sewell also encouraged finding a community to do life alongside. He said the Christian life isn’t meant to be lived in isolation. Sewell said authority comes from the truth of God’s word, and it’s important to find a “Bible-believing, Bible-preaching” church that gives you the opportunity to serve.
Savannah Snyder, a WKU alumna and member of Living Hope, said getting involved with the Young Professionals ministry at Living Hope helped her find her community. She advised others to do the same to gain a greater sense of belonging.
“Get involved with a group of people in your similar stage of life who share your beliefs so you can walk with each other and encourage each other through all the craziness,” Snyder said. “God created us to be in community – don’t miss out on that.”
Snyder said God has taught her to find her encouragement, identity and worth in what he says about her instead of how she feels, how successful she is or what other people say about her or her job performance.
“It’s been helpful to look back at Scripture and remind myself that no matter what, God loves me,” Snyder said. “He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a masterpiece. I am chosen, forgiven, not forsaken.”
2019 WKU graduate Christina Bacon said she is still learning the big things about her faith.
“I’m learning more and more about the Gospel and how good and holy (God) is,” Bacon said. “I’ve realized that I have learned so much, more than I ever thought I could learn after college.”
The Gospel translates to the “good news,” and denotes Jesus coming to Earth as fully God and fully man, living a perfect life, dying a death he did not deserve in our place and rising again so that by putting our trust in him we too can have eternal life.
Bacon is now a freelance photographer, and she recognizes she’s been gifted by the Lord with her talents in order to glorify him.
“He’s the only reason I do what I do,” Bacon said. “He’s the only reason I create — because he’s the ultimate creator.”
One’s ultimate responsibility is to make disciples, Sewell said. In the Bible, the great commission is to “go and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:16-20) and that means to share the Gospel and love of Jesus with everyone they encounter.
“I am an ambassador for Christ, that’s my purpose,” he said. “Whatever the case, that’s my base identity. I’m a follower of Christ, and therefore I’m a disciple-maker.”
Sewell encourages people to read about Jesus’ life in the book of John. He explained that to know Jesus is to love him, and the more Sewell falls in love with Jesus, the more he wants to be like him.