First reason is that I’m a sinner. Thought I’d get the real obvious one out of the way first. I’m a sinner, I fall waaaaay short of God’s holy standards, I’m in need of grace, lying is but one fatal sin among many. Praise God for the person of Jesus Christ. But moving on to reasons 2 and 3…
Reason number two is that I’m bringing Facebook back. Yes, I know, it hasn’t even been a year that I posted this article stating I will never, ever return to Facebook. But God has a way of changing a person and pushing him in directions he never would have considered over the course of nine-ish months. You’ll see in this blog post that God has been doing crazy things by shaping me and getting me excited about things I denied ever wanting to do two years ago. Taking this year off has been the BEST thing for my spiritual health and my sense of direction. God is great.
I’ll get to why I’m rejoining Facebook in a moment. First, let’s travel back in time a bit. Whoooooopzzeeedink. (That’s the sound I imagine a time machine making. I think about these things often.)
Some of you may recall I took a class this past fall at my church entitled LifeN through which I traced my past and tried to get a stronger grasp on where God may be directing my future. Though I didn’t necessarily land on any crystal clear answers through that course, one thing I did land on was that I want my life to have an impact on the lives of others. My most rewarding moments in life have been when I’ve affected someone’s life for the better.
Alright so you’ll see how that nugget of information ties in to everything a little later. (Don’t you just love how I’m feeding you all this info without actually providing any answers yet?)
Another moment last fall: I visited Houghton. Loved my visit and determined that I do need to return to school and finish a music degree. So I began looking into schools. I reapplied to Houghton, I began checking out local university options, and I reconsidered a school that I had initially thrown out of consideration during my senior year of high school: Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.
Long story short, I applied to Southeastern and I visited last week. That’s right, I flew down to Florida for two days. It was a wonderfully warm reprieve from the cold weather here. It went too fast. Throughout this whole process I was praying for guidance, clarity, hoping that God would show up and make it clear where He wants me next year.
Boy did God answer that prayer.
My visit was phenomenal. The music faculty were some of the most incredible people I have ever met, and some of the most talented. While the music facilities themselves were lacking (the school is in the process of remodeling/adding to their campus, and per usual, the arts building is one of the last to get the makeover), the professors and students more than make up for it.
The cello professor grew up in Lancaster, graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School (the coincidences get crazier, just wait), he’s friends with my elementary through high school cello teacher, met his wife at Eastman School of Music, then they both taught at Houghton for some time before leaving. Him and his wife (the violin professor) are amazing people and I was fortunate enough to be able to play in their orchestra rehearsal as well as sit in on a cello lesson.
And that’s the other thing. There are four cello majors at Southeastern currently. I played with them and was thrilled at how well they played. Here was a place not only where I could expect to grow as a cellist under a great teacher, but also where I’d be challenged by my peers to constantly be better.
One other thing I’ll mention about my visit (there’s a hundred more things I could talk about, but for the sake of length I’m not listing all!) is the encouraging chapel I was able to be a part of. Not all people may understand this, but being home has been crucial to my understanding of the importance of church and especially the importance of a good church that is biblically sound in both teaching and worship. Part of the reason I’m even considering Southeastern is because of its proximity to another Harvest Bible Chapel (the church I currently attend). So it was incredibly encouraging to me to sit in that chapel on Southeastern’s campus and sing worship songs that I sing at my home church, and to hear from a pastor that teaches the Word. These may seem like little things, or things that other campuses have–what makes Southeastern special?–but these are crucial moments during my visit that are persuading me that this is where God wants me to be.
So if I haven’t answered the Facebook question already: if I end up going to Southeastern University, that’s really far away. And chances are, I won’t be returning to Lancaster county (reasons to be disclosed in reason number 3 why I’m a dirty, rotten liar). I don’t want to lose the connections I have in this area and in the Houghton community. Thus, Facebook. Plus, I feel like I’ve matured some and that I can now withstand the time-sucker that Facebook can be. Hopefully. Father, grant me strength.
Finally, reason number three. So earlier I mentioned I want to have an impact on others’ lives. I also mentioned that I want to finish a music degree. Let me tell you a funny story:
Throughout high school, and especially during my senior year, I was encouraged by many different people to pursue music education. I was adamantly against it. I ended up pursuing a music composition degree for two years. Then, due to various things, I decided to take a year off of school, really establish myself spiritually, and re-evaluated my direction.
Up until about a month ago, I was still pretty against music education. But then I kind of had a “Chad you’re stupid” moment, also known as an “aha” moment, or a “God rolls His eyes” moment. I had determined that I wanted to have an impact on others’ lives. I had determined that I needed to finished a music degree. My most rewarding life experiences have revolved around some form of teaching music. All I needed was the music ed professor at Southeastern being all like “So…have you considered music ed?” A question that has probably been asked of me hundreds of times, yet this time my answer changed.
So now I’m hoping to transfer to Southeastern University next fall as a music education major. And if I do that, chances are I’ll get a teaching job in Florida or one of the southern states (Southeastern has a very high percentage of placing educators in jobs straight after graduation). WHAAAAAT. Life is cray. God has a funny way of working sometimes. Three years ago I would not have envisioned myself teaching music. Now I kind of like that vision. Three years ago I was not ready to tackle a new environment. Now I’m spiritually grounded, confident in my faith, and bold in my convictions.
God used my time at Houghton and my year off to make me the person I am now. And it’ll be really exciting to see what He uses next and to see what kind of life He has in store for me.
Major props to those who have read this whole post. It’s a long one. And it only scratches the surface of my life right now. I’m sure you have questions, ask me! I can honestly say that I am confident that I am exactly where God wants me to be right now, and there is no place I’d rather be.
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