Facing Change: College Transition Edition

One of the biggest fears that we have is the fear of what’s next, and often it is because we have the fear of change.

Previously, I used a book by Max Lucado called Fearless while teaching my Sunday school class. While reading some of the chapters, I thought of our seniors and the nervous excitement they feel (and parents feel) as they head off to college.  Here are some thoughts I had and some thoughts from Max as well.

We know that change is inevitable.

We also know that some change happens based on our decisions to make a change and some change happens even when we do not expect it.

Think of biblical characters who faced changes…Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Disciples, and Paul to name a few.

Think about how some chose to change and how some had to face a change. More importantly, take a second to consider how God used that change for good.

What does God say about change?

In Ecclesiastes 3, God (through Solomon) reminds us that there are seasons in life and lists 28 of them.  You probably all know how it goes….”a time for everything and a time for every activity under the heavens…a time to be born and a time to die….a time to plant and time to uproot….a time to weep and a time to laugh, etc.)”

From this, we should know that changes are going to happen, and we should know not to become frightened when they do.

Right now, the trees are beginning to bloom and the pollen is starting to fall.  Do we hit the panic button because something is happening to the trees?  No. We know that it is time; we know that it is okay to see a change in seasons.  It is part of God’s plan!

We also know in our lives that it is okay to have a change of seasons even when things may be uncertain.

All we need to do is look back at previous changes in our life to remind us of God’s faithfulness during the changes and times of uncertainty.

Jesus told the disciples in John 14:28, “I am going away.” Can you imagine the change coming to the disciples?  Even though they should have known this day was coming, the disciples were about to be away from Jesus (their Leader) for the first time since they have known Him.

Aren’t some of them still hoping that Jesus triumphs?  Aren’t some of them excited that his popularity has risen lately? Aren’t some of them hoping that Jesus will restore Israel to glory, and they would be right there alongside Jesus?

Yet, he tells them…“I am going away”

What then is the good news to this change in life?  The good news is that Jesus left behind a “helper.”

John 14:16-17 says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (helper, counselor and friend in other translations) to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

Whether we want it to or not, change will come in our lives.  We should take comfort in the same promise Jesus offered to his disciples.

Jesus promises them another advocate (helper, counselor and friend)….one that is an equal in power and authority! Romans tells us that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us! Jesus is reminding them that change is coming, but with this change comes assistance.

This advocate will continue to help and counsel.

There is the good news, and it is good news to all who come to know Him.


Written by Brad Thompson, FPD Director of College Counseling.

More information about FPD’s College Counseling resources.