I have always been the sort of person who likes to know exactly what they are getting into before starting something new. I spent most of my first day of kindergarten observing my classmates from the corner of the room, desperately trying to figure out exactly what everyone else was doing before I dared to try to join in. Before starting college, I spent so much time researching schools, majors, and potential career paths that I was essentially a walking course catalog by the time I set foot on campus. And back in August of 2020, I did something that was extremely out of character for someone who always wants to dip a toe into the water before diving in: I agreed to serve as Plymouth’s Interim Director of Christian Formation for Youth in the midst of a pandemic and with absolutely no idea of what the year might hold.
To my great surprise, many of my fondest memories from this year came from the moments of greatest uncertainty. When it looked like we might not be able to hold our traditional Sleepout in December due to the pandemic, an incredible team of youth and adult volunteers found a way to put together a drive-in vigil and at-home Sleepout that raised nearly $30,000 for Neighbor to Neighbor. When the pandemic reached its peak and we were forced to transition our weekly youth groups from in-person to virtual meetings, our youth continued to show up each week with energy and optimism even in less-than-ideal conditions. And even though I often found myself feeling like an unsuspecting audience member who had been chosen from the crowd to join an improv troupe, I also found that being forced to operate without the usual “playbook” only served to magnify the joy of the many unexpectedly wonderful moments that the year had to offer.
Now, armed with the confidence I’ve gained after a year of diving headfirst into the unknown, I am about to take yet another leap of faith: tomorrow will be my last day as Plymouth’s Interim Youth Director, and in a few weeks, I will be heading out to Indiana to begin a new role as a Student Success Coach at Purdue University. I may not know exactly what this next step will look like or what challenges lie ahead, but if this year has taught me anything, it is that an unknown future is something to be celebrated rather than feared. In the wise words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
Here’s to whatever unexpected and exciting future lies ahead of all of us!
All the best,