It is human nature to always be concerned with what the future is going to bring. Constantly we plan things out in our head, and often times we think we know exactly what is going to happen. However, the thing we tend to forget is that God already knows exactly what his plan is for us.
I remember going to bed as a child and not being able to sleep at night. This was because in my simple mind, life was nothing but a giant dollhouse where after some time we would be thrown aside and that would be it.
As a young child my family did not regularly attend church. Even though I was not attending church, God was working on me through two people. One of these was my grandmother and the other my babysitter, Janet. Now just to give you the proper image, Janet was a sweet grey-haired lady who stood no taller than 4’8. I went to her house every day while my parents were at work, and because she did not have any grandchildren yet, she treated me like her first.
To this day I can remember her pushing me on the swing set she bought for me and singing songs like ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children’. Because of her influence and the few times I had gone with my grandmother to church, at age seven I went to my parents and told them we needed to go to church.
Looking back on it now it is amazing how God used me as a seven year old to get my family to attend church. So I started attending church regularly, and quickly the void that had used to keep me up at night was filled. I attended all throughout school and later became a leader within our youth group.
Many of the friends I made in high school were through this group. Having a strong support system was always extremely helpful, but upon graduation we all went off to different schools. While we still kept in contact the daily and weekly support was no longer there. It was time for me to start over and really define myself.
Freshman year I made the mistake of trying to do everything by myself (and of course I failed). I went back home after my freshman year and started going to church again, because without a car I did not have any luck finding a church as a freshman. Sophomore year had its own struggles, but by the end I had really began to build my relationship with God again. However, again without a support group and a home church, when the busy summer came I began to fade again.
As junior year came my faith had fallen out of routine. I began to realize this and decided that I needed to find an on campus group, but I was not sure what group that was going to be. Knowing that I was not going to be able to do it on my own, I simply prayed about it.
I had every expectation God was going to answer my prayer and give me the support group I needed, however I never could have imagined the way in which he did it. This is when Janet came back into the picture. Her health had been declining since I left for college, and at the beginning of the fall semester things started to take a turn for the worst.
I went to visit her in the nursing home, and at this time she was not responding to anyone. I sat by her bedside and told her how much she meant to me and that I hoped I had made her proud of the man I had become. During this time I saw her smile, something her daughter said she had not done in days.
A short time later she went home to her Creator and we gathered at her funeral. It was a hard day, but God’s was right there. After we put her to rest, I sat with my family and ate dinner at the church. While we were eating, the pastor came over and sat with us. Interestingly enough, he too had attended the Kelley School of Business. After this connection he realized he had an introduction he needed to make.
At this time I met Andrew Hodges, who told me that he led a student fellowship group at IUPUI. Now if there is any doubt this was God, let me tell you that there were no more than 30 people at this dinner, and the overwhelming majority was family. I got Andrew’s contact information, and two weeks later I joined Impact at IUPUI and started regularly attending one of their life groups.
Since joining Impact at IUPUI I have found a life group that I attend weekly, which is exactly the support group I had been looking for. Also this semester I shared my testimony at our night of fellowship, and I have begun to think about what I want to do for the group I will lead next semester. Through this group I met several people who led a college bible study on Sundays at a church close to my apartment, so now I also have the home church I have been wanting. I can now feel God at work in my life.
So do not get discouraged when things do not go as you had planned. God is there in those times, and believe it or not he knows exactly what he is doing. The best part about it is that he will do it in the most unimaginable ways. Ways that will cause you to look back and smile, because he was there even in the times you doubted.
Zach Treon, Student in Impact at IUPUI