Today we welcome Ryan to the blog! Let’s step into his season…
What season do you currently find yourself in?
“As much as I’d love to say I’m not a typical young adult, I’m not able to meet my desire to break the mold and be unique. I’m transitioning! We’re typically tagged as transient. Young adults are seen as noncommittal, wishy-washy, and unable to endure the ebb and flow of anchoring in one job or place. And I wish I wasn’t smack dab in the middle of..not being smack dab in the middle of something. I love knocking stuff out, achieving, and clearing a to-do list. Right now I’m not feeling a whole lot of value being added by me in my new role, because it’s new!”
What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?
“This is probably a laundry list I haven’t finished figuring out, but I’ll settle for a few bullet points.
How can you minister to young adults if you haven’t experienced what you’re all going through?
The transition I’m in, the move I’ve made, the culture shift, leaving loved ones, stepping out in faith, etc. These are all things I’ve experienced in the last few months. The majority of people in my generation have endured steps like this. I’ve been quick to overlook the value of this page-turn in my story! God’s really teaching me a lot (you’ll see that in the next few lines) and will more than likely be using this to bless people in similar stages I’ll meet in the future.
I don’t know that much..again.
New opportunities are inextricably linked to a new need for new information and experience. So here I am, desperate to know more and have a better understanding of my city, my organization, my role, and even my identity (especially pertaining to my role). I’m almost helpless, a place I pridefully get away from as much as possible. Thusly, humility and patience have always been major pain points the Father loves frequenting with me.
Is your heart really set on My glory alone?
In friendships, my dating relationship, and in my conflicts with work, I’ve been made very aware of my selfishness and pride. My sinful heart is so swollen with conceit lately and I hate seeing the pain it causes, the shame I experience because of it, and the lies the enemy tells to stroke my pride and to tear me down after pride has left me reeling. The question I sensed today was the aforementioned. I’ve fooled many people, and I believe I had even deceived myself, believing my heart had been postured humbly and wholly on the glory of God. This hit me this afternoon, and I’ve been hungry for the Spirit to whisper rich affirmation into and over me all day. I hate being confronted with areas of my heart that aren’t surrendered to Jesus, but I’m thankful He loves me enough to overlook my feelings. And I’m definitely ready to be on the other side of this little season of sanctification!
Apart from Me, you can do nothing.
I’ve always loved this piece of John 15:5, but I’m constantly confronted with how little I conform to it. The most beautiful part of the gospel is our union with Jesus. We aren’t just “made better”; He completely unifies us with Himself. Our new means of living is immutably attached to the life of Jesus. We are unable to function fully without Him. It pains me to ponder how much I attempt to live the life I’ve been given by Jesus without Him, knowing I’m not able to succeed aside from His aid, affirmation, and approach to situations. He’s so wise, so kind, and so patient, three things I would never be aside from Him. I’m so desperate for Him! …and I’m being reminded of that, to the point of actually submitting to it habitually.
Discipleship is all that matters.
The most important hill I can die on is the last command Jesus gave His followers after He died on Calvary. Everyone, regardless of age, education, career, or calling, is commanded and able to fulfill the most important investment in the Kingdom and ministry: discipleship. Jesus is a smart dude and grows all of His people through this command. Please consider who’s discipling you and who you’re discipling! If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus, let this area of your life reflect it!”
How have you/are you changing during this season?
“In taking this new role, I wasn’t most excited or anticipating the opportunities, platform, or accomplishments. I knew God was calling me to this, and I looked forward to character and personal growth. My character is being refined and my mind is being sharpened. This is so exciting, but it’s also pretty painful.”
What would you like to share with someone in a similar season?
“A few things are:
Being formed into the likeness of Jesus isn’t fun, but it’s worth it. Obedience isn’t always easy. Don’t overlook discipleship. Don’t forget Who your life is really about.
But most importantly:
Find your purpose, not just your job. Please know the difference. You were created for one; the other pays the bills. There should be overlap, but your purpose transcends everything and drives your life. Jesus crafted you to fulfill a purpose. Find it, and fulfill it.”
A Prayer for Ryan
God You are SO good! We marvel at the way You are moving, always working, always present in our lives. We thank You for Ryan. We thank You for being aware of Ryan and with Ryan in this season. We thank You for the way You use transitions and newness to rip us from our comfort and confront areas of our hearts that aren’t surrendered to You. Thank You for using this transition to do that in Ryan’s life. Thank You for the way You are pruning him. Thank You that pruning, although painful, proves profitable. Thank You for giving Ryan the desire to obey You. Continue to keep his heart sensitive to The Spirit’s conviction and leading. May the godly guilt Ryan feels continue to lead him to repentance and may his shame be swallowed in grace. As he continues in his new role, may he work under Your timing and not his. Help him not to feel entitled to see fruit fast, or at all. May he continue to be faithful in the little things, for those are the people You entrust with much. May he not work for his name, but for Your name to be made known, to be glorified! Teach him to walk humbly. May we all take to heart the call to discipleship. In Your Name, Amen.